You can still buy an Oculus Rift S..for now.
It’s been an exciting week for VR! During Facebook Connect this past week, Mark Zuckerberg talked about the future of how AR technology will play an important role in the future of the company that included information on Project Aria. The company also made the official reveal of the Oculus Quest 2—a lighter, faster, all-in-one VR headset available this October beginning at $299.
This is not only a huge win for Facebook, but it’s also a shining victory for the VR industry and VR enthusiasts all around the world, with 6DOF VR technology becoming more affordable.
However, no victory is without its fair share of casualties. In this case, the casualty comes in the form of the discontinuation of Facebook’s PC tethered VR headset, the Oculus Rift S, thus signifying the end of Facebook’s PC VR hardware line.
You can still order a Rift S via the Oculus website or Amazon… for now. If you look at the specs of the Quest 2 side-by-side the Rift S, however, it’s clear that Facebook is going all-in on standalone VR. Add in the fact that Quest 2 will support PC powered VR experiences via Oculus Link Plus, and you have the perfect combination of Quest and Rift.
A little history: Facebook released the Oculus Rift S back in March of 2019 as the next iteration of their original PC powered VR headset, the Oculus Rift CV1. More power, better visuals, all for the same price as the original.
Despite these improvements, however, the Rift S wasn’t able to hook consumers quite as well as the Oculus Quest. Facebook’s first all-in-one VR headset cast a massive shadow over the VR community, one that even the Rift S couldn’t escape.
But even though the Rift S was short-lived, the VR device left a deep impression with many people around the world. So deep that even musical artist Father John Misty mentions the Oculus Rift in the second line of his hit song, Total Entertainment Forever, which by the way, is a great song.
To get a better idea of how much the Oculus Rift S meant to people in the VR community, we asked Twitter users to say a few parting words about the end of Facebook’s PC tethered VR headset.
@eminus said, “In its short time in this world, Rift S got me used to better tracking and comfort than Windows Mixed Reality in a wired HMD and became my go to headset for PC VR. It was an underrated collaboration between Lenovo, Sony licensed headstrap and Oculus, now Facebook. I’ll cherish the memory of my time within. Survived by it’s younger thinner cousin, Quest 2, VR will continue to move on today.”
@LarryRosenthal said, “Only HMD I can wear for 8 hours straight.”
@jlubinsky said, “As soon as the Oculus Link was announced, we knew. Much like the elephant in the room that no want wants to address, your impending doom was looming and omnipresent. The non-believers would shake their heads disbelievingly and point to your power. But deep down they knew. Your days were numbered. At the end of the day, people love a bargain. And getting the same flexibility in your successor at a lower price was just too much to overcome. We’ll never forget how you paved the way for all of the great things to come. So long, Oculus Rift S. But as Kurt Cobain once said “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.”
@SL33PYcast said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
@NavahK said, “Oculus Rift S, age 1, has passed peacefully at home in Menlo Park, CA on September 16th after complications from not being able to live off of a cord, and after a year-long battle with a wire-free cousin named Quest, who has plagued our society for no more cords. Oculus Rift S is survived by its father Mark Zuckerberg and newborn baby cousin Oculus Quest 2. We are blessed to have met the Rift S. Let’s help carry on its memory today and forever.”
As many in the VR community mourn the end of an era, Facebook sees a bright future with AR and VR technology. He talked about their VR platform Horizon, which is currently in beta with select users building worlds as we speak, as well as their AR smart glasses, Project Aria.
Yes, we are losing the Rift S, but in return, we are entering the next chapter in the evolution of VR.
The Oculus Rift S played a big part in all of this and it helped us get closer to the mass adoption of VR in our everyday lives.
@SLeBaron, said it best when he tweeted “Rift in peace.”
Image Credit: Facebook