Oculus Reportedly Planning Minor ‘Rift S’ Upgrade For 2019

Facebook has supposedly abandoned their plans for a next-gen Rift headset in favor of minor hardware updates.

According to a new report by TechCrunch, Facebook has abandoned their plans for a next-gen Oculus Rift headset in favor of minor hardware updates to the original model. Currently referred to as ‘Rift S,’ this new iteration would feature several significant hardware updates to the popular PC VR headset, but not enough to warrant the title, ‘Oculus Rift 2.’

Last week, Facebook once again made headlines after Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe made his departure from the company, due reportedly to his “fundamentally different views on the future of Oculus.”

TechCrunch sources claim his exit can be linked to the cancellation of a next-gen Rift sequel, codenamed “Caspar,” which was under development by Iribe’s team. This device would have been a “complete redesign” of the original model, delivering a next-gen PC VR experience. 

It now appears as though Facebook is looking to double-down on its efforts to appeal to a wider audience by instead focusing an updated rendition of the existing Rift headset. Planned for release as early as next year, the Rift S would feature a higher resolution than its Rift counterpart (finally removing that pesky screen door effect), as well as inside-out tracking, effectively rendering the systems external “Constellation” tracking system obsolete.

“While we don’t comment on rumors/speculation about our future products, as we shared last week, PC VR remains a part of our strategy and is a category we will continue to invest in. In addition to hardware, we have a robust software roadmap and are funding content well into 2020,” an Oculus spokesperson told TechCrunch.

With the release of their Oculus Go standalone headset back in May, and most recently the announcement of the 6DoF standalone Oculus Quest, it’s clear the company is continuing its push towards mainstream appeal. Iribe reportedly disagreed with this new direction, claiming the focus on accessibility and mass adoption would directly impede the development of high-end experiences.

This does, however, perfectly align with Zuckerberg’s ongoing efforts to bring 1 billion people into VR, an act that can only be accomplished if the company is able to bolster their Oculus community with more active users.

Image Credit: VRScout

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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