Oculus VR Comparisons and Reviews: Rift-S, Quest, & Quest 2

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Whichever VR system you choose could determine how enjoyable the experience. Therefore, it is critical to do the research and find the best VR that fits you. However, you are in luck as we have done most of the work for you. Now, we will describe and compare some of the most popular Virtual Reality Systems. These will include the new Oculus Quest 2 which was just released on October 13th. Make sure to read on if you are considering trading in your Rift-S or Quest for the new Quest 2.

Oculus Rift-S

The Rift-S is a PC VR with the minimum requirements of an i5 processor accompanied by a GTX 970-1060 graphics card and at least 5 gigabytes (GB) of RAM. The system requires the user to use a display port rather than an HDMI. So, plenty of space is required on the computer. The Rift-S has a 1x2560x1440 LCD panel at 80 Hertz (Hz). These specifications create a better resolution than most all-in-ones, but it is not great compared to other PC VR systems. The built-in speakers are also reportedly not great, but this can be resolved with an external set of headphones. Despite the resolution and sound not being fantastic, the tracking is decently advanced. It uses three forms of inside-out tracking.

  1. Accelerometer and Gyroscope data from the controllers and headset.
  2. Five cameras built to anchor the drifting accelerometer and gyroscope by creating landmarks in the room. This keeps tracking from becoming desynchronized.
  3. Infrared emitters on the rings of the controllers which are tracked 30 times per second.
Personal Computer (PC) Virtual Reality (VR) System, Oculus Rift-S with controllers
Photo Credit: Oculus

The Rift-S also has artificial intelligence (AI) software components. The AI component takes the best guess as to where an unseen sensor may have gone if they are obscured by an article of clothing or anything else that may get in between your controller and headset. This step forward in tracking creates smooth, effortless, and seamless gameplay with little to no tracking difficulties to ensure your skills are the only determining factor left.

Oculus Quest

The original Oculus Quest is much different than its brother, the Rift-S. It is an all-in-one system that simply requires a smartphone and nothing else. Rather than the Rift-S’s single LCD panel at 80Hz, the 1.3 lb Quest uses a 2x1600x1440 OLED panel at 72Hz. The dual OLED panels allow for better black color levels than the LCD panel.

All-in-one Virtual Reality (VR) System, Oculus Quest; Front
Photo Credit: Oculus

The tracking system is similar to the Rift-S including the infrared tracking headset cameras. The Oculus, however, also allows the user to see the outside world through the headset by selecting a viewing setting. But, this feature comes at the cost of a somewhat disorienting delay. One of the best features of the Quest is its ability to hold guardian spaces in memory. With it, you do not have to measure the same space twice. If you have measured a space before, the system will recognize it and instantly place you into the virtual environment.

Oculus Quest 2

Now, for the moment we have all been waiting for, the Quest 2 review. Starting at the same price of $299 as the Quest 1, the Quest 2’s goal is to completely replace the Quest and Rift-S as both are entering retirement, but is the upgrade really worth it for those still using the Rift-S and Quest?

All-in-one Virtual Reality (VR) System, Oculus Quest 2; Back
Photo Credit: Oculus

With prices at $299 for 64 GB and $400 for 256 GB, the Quest 2 is certainly an upgrade. However, most have described it as more of a Quest + or Quest Pro rather than a completely new system. The new wireless all-in-one is predominantly the same as the Quest except for its large 50% increase in resolution at 90 Hz, its access to AAA games, its lighter 1.12 lb frame, and its new line of accessories, sold separately of course. These new accessories include better head straps to replace the Quest 2’s new, cheaper, and mobile, cloth strap; like the $50 Elite Strap or the $130 Elite Strap which doubles the battery life from 2-3 hours to 4-6. Other accessories include Fit Packs which offer swappable facial interfaces.

All-in-one Virtual Reality (VR) System, Quest 2 with controllers in use
Photo Credit: Oculus

The Quest 2 also has some subtle differences which came from trial and error with the first Quest. For instance, the Quest has two headphone jacks to cater to Oculus’ duel-headphones, but the Quest 2 only has one due to this previous accessory’s failure. The interpupillary distance (IPD) adjuster is also different. It combines hardware and software to allow the user to push the eye width into one of three settings. These settings can presumably be changed through the software as opposed to the Quest’s simple slider bar. The controller itself is also slightly different with some extra thumb room and a more secure battery cover.

All-in-one Virtual Reality (VR) System, Oculus Quest compared to the Personal Computer (PC) Virtual Reality (VR) System, Oculus Rift-S with controllers
Photo Credit: Oculus

The most controversial feature of the Oculus Quest 2 is their decision to require the user to link their Facebook account to the system.

Upgrade your VR?

If these features sound like an upgrade worthwhile, go ahead and splurge on the new Oculus Quest 2. Otherwise, as we here at AVT Simulation like to say, save your money for something with a little more bang for your buck. In our next post, we will cover other popular VR systems as well as MR and AR systems.

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