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Unbiased Rift S review from an old timer (since DK2 and CV1)

maxpare79
Level 10
Alright I know there is a lot of these going on, but here is my two cents.

Setup:
5 mins no hassle everything was done, tracing your guardian boundaries is really cool 

The screen:
Yep it is an improvement, but don't let some reddit hype get to your head, while it is clearer, I didn't find it a night and day difference. The games I have played so far are, Creed, Space Pirate Trainer, Robo Recall, Contractors and Elite Dangerous. The way I would describe it is it's less pixelated and sharper. Screen door effect is reduced to a minimum but still there, but it's a non issue.  By the way I am using a 2080ti and supersampling everything at 1.5 in OTT. Elite looks better then ever with the reduce god rays and sharpness. Colors are great, blacks are as black as you could expect from an LCD, but I found Elite that they were still perfect in ED which let's face it is never truly black.
Rift S wins

God Rays:
White letters on black background, our nightmare scenario on CV1, a non issue now at least for me.
Rift S wins

Refresh Rate:
Also a non issue for me, didn't notice any difference, but I know some people notice refresh rate, screen tearing, etc more then others and I am not one of these people so I might not be the best judge on this one
Tie

Comfort:
I am a bit torn on this one, I loved how the CV1 sit on my head and how small it was. This is a massive HMD but you slip it on easily on your head. No pressure applied to your face whatsoever unless you want the biggest FOV possible, then you have to press the thing on your face. Even if it's heavier you don't feel it at all, weight is supported by the halo perfectly.
Two things I noticed, I had my nose broken once and it's now slighly bent to the left (not noticeable), well when I put the HMD on, the left side of my nose touchesthe plastic, so the opening for the nose is now smaller then CV1 because this used to be a non-issue. Next thing is this thing doesn't breath compare to CV1, I never got any sweat issues with CV1, but with this one even in games like Robo Recall my face got warm and sweaty. I don't know if it's the fact that CV1 was made of fabric or because the Rift S doesn't have a nose gap maybe but I kind wished they stuck to the same material
I have to give it to CV1 for the way it breaths...this one doesn't

Tracking:
For me it was perfect, I read all kind of horror story on reddit, but there's is probably something wrong with maybe the lighting in the room, reflective area, power management, dirty camera, I don't know but believe me I tried and couldn't loose tracking...
Getting a shotgun in your back in Robo Recall works perfectly, even shooting the pistols with controller right in front of the HMD worked, I wish I could record it (but don't know how). Creed was a good test as well, putting your gloves in blocking condition  works flawlessly when you keep your controller 3.5inch form the HMD, if you are at 3.5 and up it responds to your movement (I had my daughter measure it while I was doing it)) If you stick your controllers closer the gloves just stay there without moving. But's that's a tradeoff I can live with. In Creed I did all the moves I could think of and not once did it fail...
I played Contractors using an assault Rifle and my 3D printed gunstock(this one https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2057419) and it also tracked flawlessly I didn't have any occlusion of the front controller and I could press the gun stock to my shoulder like I used to. On a side note, even if the controllers feel smallers they won't fit snuggly in the gun stock anymore...weird.

I will give it to CV1 of course but this impressed me the most because of all the horror stories out there, totally a non issue for me and would gladly get rid of any external sensors for this solution

Controller:
This is also a weird one, these controllers are smaller then CV1, and are not molded the same meaning that if you are not paying attention you could easily grab the left one in your right hand and vice versa...I played Space Pirate trainer with controllers in the wrong hand without even noticing until I started Creed and my gloves were on the wrong sides. I do like the surface under the controller makes them less likely to slip. Rist band feels really cheap, I would have prefered a lace, but now it's that thin leather-like strap that looks really flimsy. Overall the controllers have a cheaper feel to them, but works great anyway
CV1 wins

Sound:
Also something really weird. Ok for let's say a casual game like I don't know Job Simulator, Rec Room, stuff like that, the audio will be just fine, which is cool because sometimes you don't need to be fully immerse, even in Creed I thought it was fine and liked the fact that I had nothing on my ears. So there's a lot of games out there that will do just fine with the default "speakers". They could be louder I will give you that, like twice as loud, I couldn't believe they were at 100% volume. Nate Mitchell says a fix is incoming, maybe it's just that not enough power is routed to the speakers and they can fix it, but if the same speakers could play louder, I might not even look for another solution. Like people said there is no bass, but I wouldn't compare it to cellphones speakers like people said on reddit, it's just a bit better then that. The funny thing is once you plug in earbuds, headphones or whatever, the sound IS SO LOUD that you have to go to your volume control and lower it to like 60%. With the Koss Porta pro mod it's the same thing as CV1. I have a 3D printer so it was a non-issue for me
Winner CV1 but having nothing on your ears is really cool and if a decent speaker solution can be found in the future it might turn out to be better then headphones

Cable:
This doesn't get talked about much, but the heavier more sturdy cable is a welcome change. It won't get tangled as much and won't get as much bad kinks in it.
Winner Rift S

Overall:
Am I happy with the upgrade? Yes
Would I do it again? Yes.
Should everyone do it? No...only if you have disposable income. CV1 is still fine
The screen is really nice and I didn't expect the specs announced to improve clarity and shapness as much but it did, it's not a night and day difference but it's there. I might sound like I am contradicting myself, but in VR you get used to a screen rapidly even one that is not perfect. It was the case with the VIVE, DK2, CV1 and so on, once you have the headset on for a while you quickly forget the imperfection. In this one, noticing the imperfection is just not the first thing you do because it's clearer.

What this HMD did to me is just made me realized that specs are not everything. I would have kept the complete CV1 form factor and put the screen and inside-out tracking in it. That would have been awesome. But removing the 3 usb camera, the 2 15 feet usb extension from my home theatre is totally worth it as well. I am now a believer that inside-out tracking is the future. I played the games I usually play and they play exactly the same, so I am happy with my upgrade which cost me only 200usd since I sold my CV1 for 220usd. Small incremental steps do make a difference, and I can't wait to see the Index as well, even if I won't buy one because the price tag of getting the full kit, thank god I have a friend who will get it. Overall I recommend the products and hope that people who have issues with it get those resolved because it works perfectly for me.
I am a spacesim/flightsim/racesim enthusiast first 🙂 I9 9900k@5.0, 32gb RAM/ 2080ti Former DK2, Gear VR,CV1 and Rift S owner
33 REPLIES 33

Zenbane
Level 15

Anonymous
Not applicable
Thanks for taking the time to do this.
I do disagree, of course, I think Rift S is better across the board, but thanks for sharing.

Luciferous
Level 12
Well there is the problem, either way its a narrow victory against a 3 year old headset. 

It's Ok today but I am buying a headset to last me another 3 years. Still very disappointed in Oculus, Marks 'could have done much better'.

Zenbane
Level 15


It's Ok today but I am buying a headset to last me another 3 years



Vale Index will get leap frogged before 2 years. Too many players in VR now by too many top global leaders in the industry. In my most sincerest opinion, anyone buying Index will enjoy the momentary "leap" that it provides for the same amount of time as those who:
  • Bought HTC Vive CV1 at launch 2016 (it was out-done by Oculus Touch 8 months later).
  • Bought HTC Vive Pro (it was out-done by the Pimax Kickstarter)
  • Bought Samsung Odyssey (it was out-done by Odyssey+)
  • Bought the Pimax 5K/8K (it is being out-done by Valve Index)
None of these situations are allowing the consumers to enjoy 3 straight years of remaining content. I say this with the utmost respect to you buddy: there's just zero market and industry indicators that point to the Index being a "3 year investment." Index is like everything else right now: a short-term investment for those who are dedicating disposable income to ongoing upgrades every 1-2 years.

If 3 years pass and you stick with just this version of the Index, then it's not because you bought a headset that stood the test of time, it's because you made the personal choice to stop spending the money!

TomCgcmfc
Level 15
If you remove the rubber nose flap you'll get a lot better air circulation and less fogging (and pretty minimal light leakage for me anyway).  It also lets you 'Peek' at your keyboard which I find very handy with sims.  I tried the passthough but I still find it hard to see keys and the ghostly images are kinda scary. 

I'm not ashamed to say, "I'm TomC and I'm a Peeker", lol!
i9 9900k, rtx3090, 32 Gb ram, 1tb ssd, 4tb hdd. xi hero wifi mb, 750w psu, Q2 w/Air Link, Vive Pro

Zenbane
Level 15

TomCgcmfc said:

the ghostly images are kinda scary.



hah! The Passthrough tech is very much like being in a horror movie, right? Love it!



maxpare79
Level 10

TomCgcmfc said:

If you remove the rubber nose flap you'll get a lot better air circulation and less fogging (and pretty minimal light leakage for me anyway).  It also lets you 'Peek' at your keyboard which I find very handy with sims.  I tried the passthough but I still find it hard to see keys and the ghostly images are kinda scary. 

I'm not ashamed to say, "I'm TomC and I'm a Peeker", lol!


Cool I will look into it
I am a spacesim/flightsim/racesim enthusiast first 🙂 I9 9900k@5.0, 32gb RAM/ 2080ti Former DK2, Gear VR,CV1 and Rift S owner

maxpare79
Level 10

Zenbane said:



It's Ok today but I am buying a headset to last me another 3 years



Vale Index will get leap frogged before 2 years. Too many players in VR now by too many top global leaders in the industry. In my most sincerest opinion, anyone buying Index will enjoy the momentary "leap" that it provides for the same amount of time as those who:
  • Bought HTC Vive CV1 at launch 2016 (it was out-done by Oculus Touch 8 months later).
  • Bought HTC Vive Pro (it was out-done by the Pimax Kickstarter)
  • Bought Samsung Odyssey (it was out-done by Odyssey+)
  • Bought the Pimax 5K/8K (it is being out-done by Valve Index)
None of these situations are allowing the consumers to enjoy 3 straight years of remaining content. I say this with the utmost respect to you buddy: there's just zero market and industry indicators that point to the Index being a "3 year investment." Index is like everything else right now: a short-term investment for those who are dedicating disposable income to ongoing upgrades every 1-2 years.

If 3 years pass and you stick with just this version of the Index, then it's not because you bought a headset that stood the test of time, it's because you made the personal choice to stop spending the money!


Exactly, this is why putting 1500$cad on the Index makes absolutely no sense to me, VR  is at a turning point where everything will progress super fast, just look at the Reverb screen, I am sure that next year there will be tons of HMD with the same screen or better. That's why I am quite happy with the small investment that this upgrade cost me. I don't say I won't ever pay a 1000$cad for an upgrade but now is not the time...


I am a spacesim/flightsim/racesim enthusiast first 🙂 I9 9900k@5.0, 32gb RAM/ 2080ti Former DK2, Gear VR,CV1 and Rift S owner

RedRizla
Level 15
@maxpare79 - Good review, but you didn't mention problems regarding scoped weapons and tracking. I must have a faulty headset if you think tracking is flawless with scoped weapons too. Same with some Bow & Arrow games there are hiccups with the tracking. It's not exactly a horror story, but it needs fixing if your selling these games on your store.

Edit: I am still awaiting a reply to a Oculus Support ticket I put in to see if I have a faulty headset. Seems some people don't have the tracking myself and some other people are experiencing.