Oculus Quest and Rift S

Oculus held their F8 event today during which they revealed two new and very different VR headsets. In comparison to the also just announced $1,000 Valve Index, these two Oculus headsets start at $400 (or $399 if you want to be specific), and that's the price for the full package on both of these.

A major advantage with these two headsets, when compared to the Index, is the fact that they utilize inside-out tracking. That means they make use of headset mounted cameras and sensors to track your location within an environment in addition to the controller locations in space. In short: You don't need any sort of tracking base stations with these to get a full VR experience.

But "Quest" and "Rift S?" What's the difference between the two?

Well, the Oculus Quest is a fully stand-alone VR headset. It has no wires and does not require a PC. Of course, this also means that storage is built into the headset and the visual fidelity is not as good as if you were running off of a dedicated gaming PC. The big upside to this is the fact that you still have a full VR experience that you can take literally anywhere.

The Quest starts at $399 for the 64GB model. There is a 128GB model priced at $499. Both bundles include the Quest headset, the inside-out "Insight" tracking, and two Oculus Touch controllers. The controllers are slightly modified designs of the older Touch controllers. You also obviously get some AA batteries for the controllers, a power adapter, a glasses friendly spacer, and a charging cable.

Brief Tech Specs for Oculus Quest
OLED 1440x1600 (per eye) displays
Refresh rate at 72Hz
Single Fresnel lenses
Roughly 100 degree FOV
It's important to note here that the battery life on the Quest is only about two hours before it needs to be charged again. With the amount of tech at work here, a short battery life probably doesn't come as too much of a surprise. This battery life information came from a Quest video review courtesy of The Verge. Additional reviews can be found at Road to VR and IGN, among other places.

On the flip side of the coin is the Oculus Rift S, a not-quite-Rift-2 VR headset that aims to replace the older Oculus Rift model. This is the VR headset for those who have a gaming PC that they want to make use of to power their VR experience. Unlike the Quest, the Rift S does still make use of a connecting cable to a PC. However, like the Quest, the Rift S also features that inside-out "Insight" tracking, meaning that there is no longer a need for external sensors. This, in turn, means that users can now free up some of those USB ports the sensors on the non-S model were taking up.

Brief Tech Specs for Oculus Rift S
LCD 1280x1440 per eye
Refresh rate at 80Hz
"Slightly larger than Rift" FOV (Rift FOV is about 110 degrees)
Requires DisplayPort 1.2 and 1 USB connection
Just like the Oculus Quest, reviews are already starting to come in for the Oculus Rift S. Road to VR says that it's a "good choice for VR newcomers" but a "difficult choice for VR vets." Other reviews from sites like Digital Trends and Engadget seem to echo those same sentiments.

Would-be buyers should make note of how the libraries work between these devices. As it stands, just because something is available and works on the Rift S, that does not mean it will work on the Quest (and vice-versa). However, so far most of the games that are on one are also available on the other device. With that in mind, you can check out a list of the Oculus Quest launch library below.

The Quest will come pre-loaded with five titles. These are Beat Saber, Creed, Journey of the Gods, Space Pirate Trainer, and Sports Scramble.

Day 1 Launch library
1. Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs, Resolution Games
2. Apex Construct, Fast Travel Games
3. Apollo 11, Immersive VR Education
4. Bait!, Resolution Games
5. Ballista, High Voltage Software
6. Beat Saber, Beat Games
7. Bigscreen Beta, Bigscreen VR
8. Bogo, Oculus
9. Bonfire, Baobab
10. Box VR, Fit XR
11. Creed, Survios
12. Dance Central, Harmonix
13. Dead and Buried 2, Oculus Studios
14. Drop Dead: Duel Strike, Pixel Toys
15. Electronauts, Survios
16. Epic Roller Coasters, B4T Games
17. Face Your Fears 2, Turtle Rock Studios
18. First Contact, Oculus
19. Fruit Ninja VR, Halfbrick
20. Guided Tai Chi, Cubicle Ninjas
21. I Expect You To Die, Schell Games
22. Job Simulator, Owlchemy Labs,
23. Journey of the Gods, Turtle Rock Studios
24. Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes, Steel Crate Games
25. Moss, Polyarc
26. National Geographic VR Explore, Force Field VR
27. Nature Treks, Greener Games
28. Ocean Rift, Dr. Llyr Ap Cenydd
29. Oculus Browser, Oculus
30. Oculus Gallery, Oculus
31. Oculus TV, Oculus
32. Oculus Video, Oculus
33. Orbus VR, Orbus Online
34. PokerStars VR, LuckyVR
35. Racket Fury: Table Tennis, Pixel Edge Games
36. Rec Room, Against Gravity
37. Robo Recall, Drifter Entertainment
38. RUSH, Binary Mill
39. Shadow Point, Coatsink
40. Skybox VR Video Player, Source Technology Inc
41. Space Pirate Trainer, I-Illusions
42. Sports Scramble, Armature Studios
44. The Exorcist: Legion VR, Developer Wolf & Wood, Publisher Fun Train
45. Thumper, Drool
46. Tilt Brush, Google
47. Ultrawings, Bit Planet Games
48. Vader Immortal, ILMxLab
49. Virtual Desktop, Virtual Desktop, Inc.
50. Virtual Virtual Reality, Tender Claws
51. VR Karts, Viewpoint Games
52. VRChat, VRChat
53. Wander, Parkline Interactive