Oculus Rift S – Hands on Review

I was lucky enough to get my new Rift delivered a week ago. Since then I’ve sunk a bit of time experimenting with it and here are my conclusions so far

 

Initial Setup Gripes

I think I was very unlucky here and really I can’t fault the Rift itself. There are only two cables to plug in and software to download followed by an update. After that you’re lead through the setup and it’s all fairly stress free. I can’t fault Oculus…..but I can fault my PC!

This may just have been me but I had quite a few issues from the beginning. My virus guard is aggressive towards loading any new software, so when I load a game for the first time (with my headset on me) I get a warning on my PC screen which I can’t see asking for permission to run. This is easily fixed but it was very annoying in the beginning.

I also dove straight into the steam store at the same time as the Oculus store…..I’m greedy like that. This was overwhelming and what I didn’t realise was that I would have to install SteamVR and also run through their initial setup. Instead, I jumped ahead and purchased a full price game and was dismayed to be greeted with a black screen and no error message when I loaded it up.

I definitely sound like I’m complaining now and I don’t want to be. All of the above wrinkles have since been ironed out and I’ve found using my new Oculus now very simple which is great!

 

Hardware Power

I won’t bore you with all the geeky specs, you can read them anywhere. I’ll just give you my thoughts on how those specs translate into a great VR experience. I am quite used to the PSVR which is great but limited. Field of vision with PSVR is poor and anything rendered in the distance is a blocky jagged mess. This is not the case with the Oculus Rift S.

Graphics are sharper and draw distance is great. Also the screen door effect isn’t noticeable at all to me which is brilliant. The field of view is still limited however and you do have that goggle effect around the edges of your vision but it’s not a problem when you’re immersed in gameplay.

 

Steam & Oculus Store

The options between the two store fronts is staggering compared to the PSVR. There are hundreds of titles available along with lots of free things to try out. You could get lost for hours browsing through their catalogs and although some of the titles on offer are thrash, there is plenty of gold here too.

 

Tracking & Controllers

This is where the Oculus Rift S shines. No need for stupid sensors or an out-dated camera positioned on top of your screen. The headset and controllers use inside-out tracking and I’ve found it nearly flawless every time. I can move, turn, walk, duck and act like a twat and never lose position of my hands/controllers in game. It only gets a little funky when you hold the controllers right up to your face but there’s never really a need to do that.

 

Beefy PC

You will need a fairly decent PC to run all these fantastic VR experiences. You will also definitely need a very decent graphics card which isn’t cheap. The upside though if you have these is powerful VR games with lush graphics and an overall amazing experience.

 

Should you buy?

The answer to this really depends on your situation. If you don’t have a PS4 but do have a powerful enough PC then yes, this is the VR experience for you. If you don’t have a PC, then the Oculus Quest is probably the obvious one to go for. Me personally, I dabbled with the PSVR and wanted more. I wanted better graphics and more powerful hardware and at the moment (until next generation Vive) this is the best there is.

 

What do you think? Have you played with the Rift S? Is it a big enough improvement on the original Rift? Do you just want the wireless freedom of the Quest? Let me know below!

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