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Rift-S Through the Lens

pyroth309pyroth309 Posts: 1,576 Valuable Player
edited May 2019 in Oculus Rift S and Rift
Forgive me if I missed this somewhere and mods can ditch it if so, but I saw a post on reddit of a guy who has a Rift-S and upgraded from a Vive. Here's a few of his screens. 




Hey guys,

As you may know, i received my Rift S early earlier this week ( ). After playing around for a few days, I've come to share with you my impressions of the new Rift S. I didn't own a CV1 but I do own a HTC Vive with a Deluxe audio strap so I will be able to compare the two. You were many to ask questions about the Rift S and I will do my best to answer it to you, but for now, here is my experience with an early Rift S.


At first, I had trouble installing it. Coming from Steam VR, i found Oculus Home a bloated software, hungry in background ressources. When I first plugged the Rift S in my display port and USB 3.0, nothing happened. Oculus home didn't detect it and neither Steam VR. After trying to make Oculus Home recognize my Rift S for about 3 hours, someone suggested to install Oculus Home beta, which I did. The Rift S installed seamlessly, and was instantly detected. The Guardian setup is a breeze and takes about 1 minute to set up. My first complaint is that as soon as I start up the Rift S a little off of where I first set it up, it doesn't seem to keep my guardian boundaries. Might just be a beta issue that will be fixed later at release. But since it takes less than 1 minute to set up when you are used to it, it didn't bother me much. Since most of my game library is in Steam VR, I did find really unpleasant to have both Oculus Home open AND Steam VR on to run my games. Seems like a huge ressource hog for me to have Oculus Home always on when I don't use it at all.

+ Really easy guardian set up
+ No sensors, out of the box tracking
- Oculus Home
- Few bugs out of the box

Display :
The first thing I noticed when I got in the rift was the clarity. Damn, what an upgrade coming from the Vive. I know that the vive isn't the best considering pixel fill and resolution, but holy **** I was stunned. The most impressive thing in the clarity I think is the Pixel fill and the new Lenses (which are reallly great!). There isn't much a resolution bump coming from the vive, but at first, even when concentrating in the Oculus white room, I couldn't distinguish individual pixels. It seems that white pixels fill the display the most. I could see a really dim and diffused "grid" but it's another league coming from the vive. With small text, you can still make out individual pixels, even with diagonal lines (which reveal the aliasing of the display), but as soon as you take your mind off of it, it disapears. Like I said, there isn't a huge bump in resolution so don't expect a "retina" display in VR yet. IN LENS COMPARAISON HERE: In my opinion, for the screen door effect, Oculus really makes up for what was unpleasant distraction with the vive, becomes a forgettable detail with the Rift S.
For the contrast, the Vive and it's OLED display has the edge when it comes to "pitch black" contrast. I wouldn't say it's a problem with the Rift S. I can see that the LCD doesn't bring as dark contrast but the difference really isnt that important. They did a really good job with their choice in the LCD panel and In my opinion, could confuse people who don't know the difference with OLED. The colors are really good and the contrast and brightness is not a problem at all. Only a perfectionnist would complain about the display, and I'm not a perfectionnist so for me, Oculus won the bet switching to an LCD panel. I could not distinguish the difference between a 80hz and the 90hz display of the Vive. Only once in Beat Saber did I feel like I could use a little bit more refresh rate but I think it was my framerate issue more than a Refresh rate one.

+ Pixel Fill
+ Small resolution bump
- Small loss in contrast

Lens/FOV :

Rift S is supposed to have an upgraded lens. I've never seen the Oculus Rift CV1 so I can't compare but coming from a Vive, the first thing I noticed was the wider sweet spot. It's not even fair to compare the two. With the vive, I had to move the headset and secure the thing so tight on my face to make sure the damn thing wouldn't move so I didn't lose my center on the sweet spot. With the RIft S, I put on the headset and my eyes are always in the sweet spot. I do have 65mm IPD tho so I'm right in the "norm" and I really don't need mechanical IPD adjustement. Sometimes when I did move alot, the headset moved and I had to recenter because my eyes were a little off but even then, It's nowhere near the vive which had blurry edges around 33% of the lenses. The rift is more like 10% of the lenses have a slight blur. Also, they seem to have found a cure for those damn god Rays. The vive had this plaguing issue and when I tried the Rift S, i had to switch back and forth with the vive to realize, the god rays are gone. Well, some extreme cases of high contrast still have some light streaks but it's nowhere as distracting as the Vive which had god rays in every displayed scene. I tested the FOV, seems pretty much on par with the Vive, might have a really small upgrade but it might just be the difference in the ergonomics. Not worthy noting.

+ Wide sweet spot
+ Low blur around the lenses' edges
+ God Rays is a thing of the past


Ok, this is where things get complicated. Short story... tracking works flawlessly.... when you respect its limits. Now for the long story.....First, Headtracking is always spot on. Inside out tracking works perfectly, the camera do a perfect job detecting the environnement and transposing the data in motion. There is no latency and it's as precise as the Vive, no complain here except when I did crammed my head against my couch, It did have a few hiccups but in normal conditions, it's perfect. The problems are with the dead spots. The Rift S have 5 cameras, 2 on the sides, 2 in the front, and one on the top. When your hands are in front of you and around 170 degrees of the headset, the cameras are able to keep track of the controllers and the tracking is spot on. No difference there with the vive in term of precision and speed. I had a few issues tho when having the controllers close to the headset (exemple: Lone echo, when you need to press the button on your headset), the tracking would sometimes jump around a little. Or In Blade and Sorcery when I need to grab a weapon in my back, the game didn't always catch that my hands were in my back. But as soon as the controllers are back in view of the headset, they snap back to place instantly. I tried going in Tilt brush to draw behind my back. Strangely, sometimes position tracking still worked behind my back and sometimes, the controllers stayed in place and only detected rotation. Also, I was still able to push myself around in Lone Echo even when I had my hand behind my back. Akimbo shooting side to side in Superhot did bring a few issues as my head was looking in all directions and sometimes my hand would lose it's position while looking away. All in all, Oculus still did a good job and the lack of external sensors is a boon for me as I used to set up my vive in multiple rooms because of my small house, I can live with its limits with no problems. Also, the passthrough + is really a nice features and reproduces stereo view pretty well. Way better than the vive simili stereo view.

+ No sensors
+ Precise and fast tracking
- Few dead spots close to the helmet
- Big dead spot behind the back
? Some games seem to cope with those limits better than others


The Rift S comes with build in audio in the side straps. What seemed to be really good audio at first, quickly showed it's flaws playing Beat Saber. Keep in mind that I'm an audiophile and have more than 8000$ audio equipment at home so those small integrated speakers weren't enough for me. They clearly lacked bass, and even at full volume, it's impossible to get fully immersed if there is background noise. It can be positive for someone wanting to keep situational awarness by hearing its surroundings, but when it comes to presence, the Vive and the deluxe audio strap did provide better audio for immersion. The good thing is the vive comes with an headphone jack on the left side of the headset so at least they provided a solution for people who want full audio immersion. Now to be fair, the integrated audio did provide really great positional and spatial audio. It didn't feel as the audio was coming out of the strap and had a great 3D feeling about it. I could discern precisly who was talking while playing Echo Arena only by hearing where the sound was coming from. If you guys are not picky about audio quality and frequencies, the in-strap headphones will do the job, for others, thank god there is an audio jack. As for the audio mirroring in Oculus Home, I had a few issues with the mirroring delay. Some games had a few MS of delay, not worth noting. As for beat saber, there was a really noticable delay in audio mirroring which made playing with mirroring On IMPOSSIBLE. Might be only a driver issue tho. I'll give Oculus the chance to correct that. I've never had that problem with audio mirroring with the Vive.

+ Out of the box audio
+ Great positional audio
+ Optional audio jack
- Lack bass
- Lacks overall audio quality
-Audio Mirroring brings delay


I know that comfort is pretty subjective as every people don't have the same face and head shape so I'll talk about ergnomics. Picking up the Rift S is lick picking up a solid object. It doesn't feel like the straps are loose and nothing bends or twist. The headset itself is made of lightweight plastic and so is the strap that goes around the head. The only loose strap is the one with velcro on the top that you can adjust, There is a tightening wheel at the back just like the Vive's deluxe audio strap. My impressions: It's lighter, its comfier, leaks less light and puts way less presure on the face. I can't say it's something I would wear for many hours during. I still get face itching and fatigue after a couple of hours but it's and upgrade coming from the vive. The Controllers are really cool; way lighter and smaller than vive wands. The buttons and joystick are perfectly placed for my average adult hands. I feel tho that it's easy to drop em when I don't hold the grip button down. I hope it doesn't wear out the buttons faster as I feel that keeping a grip with only 3 fingers is a bit loose.

+ Controllers are comfy
+ Lighter headset
+ Less face pressure, more balanced weight around the head
- Face cushion is glued to a plastic part of the helmet
- You need to take the whole thing off if you want to even scratch your nose.
- Controllers are a bit small and to keep a whole hand grip, I needed to have the grip button pressed down at all times.

So that's it fellows, I hope you enjoy. I will try to answer your questions as much as I can but I'm a busy man and keep in mind you will all have the opportunity to test it by yourselves in 2 weeks.

Link to the thread

Link to all the screens


  • pyroth309pyroth309 Posts: 1,576 Valuable Player
    Here's his other 2 photos, I was having trouble getting the links off them earlier. I'll wait for someone with a better camera to make a final opinion but these are the first shots I've seen through the lens. It definitely looks a lot better than the Vive. 



  • RedRizlaRedRizla Posts: 6,926 Valuable Player
    edited May 2019
    So if like he said: "you can't distinguish the difference between 80hz and a 90hz display." Then how are you going to distinguish the difference in the Valve index? 

    He also mentions that running Oculus home and Steam VR is a huge resource hog, but is that really the case? I've read that Oculus Home goes into sleep mode once you start a game, so why do people continue to say it's a resource hog? Can someone who knows their stuff clear this up once and for all?

    Edit: I just think Oculus needs to keep keep going with their external sensors even if it's just an option. They could even sell them as an addon for Rift -S users who wanted one. 
  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 7,288 Valuable Player
    Whenever you use a Vive it is ESSENTIAL to have something with you to mop up the blood. That SDE is bad enough to make your eyes bleed. I tried a friend's Vive ages ago and it's GODAWFUL :o

    I'd be more interested to see how the Rift S compares to the Vive Pro, Index and Reverb tbh
    "This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

    Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever
  • pyroth309pyroth309 Posts: 1,576 Valuable Player
    RedRizla said:
    So if like he said: "you can't distinguish the difference between 80hz and a 90hz display." Then how are you going to distinguish the difference in the Valve index? 

    He also mentions that running Oculus home and Steam VR is a huge resource hog, but that really the case? I've read that Oculus Home goes into sleep mode once you start a game, so why do people continue to say it's a resource hog? Can someone who knows their stuff clear this up once and for all?
    10 hz probably isn't noticeable except to the most keen eye as it's only about 12% slower. 30 hz probably is as it's a 33% improvement from 90 and a 50% improvement from 80. 

    He's a guy coming from only using SteamVR and is just giving his impressions. The slow load times of home probably makes it feel like a resource hog to them. 
  • inovatorinovator Posts: 2,204 Valuable Player
    Great review. Thanks I felt the audio was better than other reviews. It's crazy when the other reviewers tried to give a review for audio in a noisy environment. I feel u did your best to give the most honest review u can. 
  • MAC_MAN86MAC_MAN86 Posts: 2,262
    edited May 2019
    RIFT S is ordered but this comparison shows the reviewer's camera Auto-Exposure makes the BLACKS darker which is reported to not be true! Look @ 3:10 which is Elite. I'll find out next week.

  • saami81saami81 Posts: 171

    In this Rift S look decent for its price. Nothing to be excited for, but good nonetheless.
  • MAC_MAN86MAC_MAN86 Posts: 2,262
    Although the Blacks are by the camera and so are not what people report when trying it out. Each game needs it's own Gamma/Brightness setting. In Elite I use a darker ToeDenominator for more blacks plus only High Bloom due to changing UI to Blue with Gold Shields and so Brightness needs lowered whist Gamma is full. It's all contextual and so different in reality. Taking camera pics is seriously silly to compare.
  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 7,288 Valuable Player
    CrashFu said:
    His thoughts on the FoV are interesting.  Most Vivers swear that the Vive is a full 110 degrees fov and that CV1 was 90-100,  and this guy is saying that the Rift-S seemed identical or slightly larger than Vive.

    Guess we'll know who was right when we CV1-veterans get our hands on this thing, and it either looks the same or 10-20 degrees wider.

    So glad I preordered one ASAP.  I seriously cannot wait to try it out for myself on the 21st.  :grimace: 

    Most Vivers are wrong. The horizontal FOV is about the same for both the Rift and the Vive but the vertical FOV is slightly higher but there isn't much in it. It's noticeable but not a huge difference.

    You now also have eye relief on the Rift S and Vive which complicates matters even further.

    There isn't an agreed standard for measuring the FOV of a headset, and the FOV changes from person to person depending on the shape of their head and face.
    "This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

    Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever
  • RedRizlaRedRizla Posts: 6,926 Valuable Player
    edited May 2019
    Looking at those screen shots shows there is a lot more details to be seen in the Rift S. Take a look at the trees and the people stands for example. No camera can improve details like that through the lens, so Rift S must be a lot better when it comes to showing more details as we have also seen with the text.
  • MAC_MAN86MAC_MAN86 Posts: 2,262
    Basically it's the way to go...your old RIFT is worth just $150. To buy a replacement Cable which you'll need after 1-2yrs is $80 if they are even still available. You may already be out of any Warranty and so if anything else breaks e.g. the headphones by the ribbon breaking from wear, you're best just getting one now that is at least on a Warranty and then think to keep as a backup for friends to use whenever you happen to have 2 PCs that can run VR. Also is another backup for any Returns of the RIFT S.
  • RuneSR2RuneSR2 Posts: 4,558 Valuable Player
    edited May 2019
    Intel i7 7700K (4.5 GHz); MSI GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Gaming X (oc 2100 MHz gpu boost, 11 GHz mem speed); 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 MHz; MSI Z270I Gaming Pro Carbon AC (VR-Ready) mainboard; Samsung 960 Evo M.2 SSD + Toshiba P300 HD; Windows 10 OS; Valve Index and Oculus Rift CV1 - the latter nearly always using super sampling 2.0. 

    "Ask not what VR can do for you – ask what you can do for VR"
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