As you may know, i received my Rift S early earlier this week ( https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/bkanog/i_received_my_rift_s_today/ ). 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
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: https://imgur.com/gallery/mOJ29ij. 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
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.