Virtual Reality

Deep Dive into Oculus Rift

In 2012 the team of Oculus first publicized a virtual reality (VR) headset for video gaming. It was a revolutionary dedicated gaming product. After announcing the headset, there was one more challenge for the team Oculus, and that was getting the developer’s support for the platform.

Oculus started a “Kickstarter” campaign to arrange funds for developing kits to facilitate the developers. The “Kickstarter” goal was to raise $250,000, but they made ten times more and raised $2.4 million. That indicates how enthusiastic people were about this device.

Seeing the rise and potential of the VR headset by Oculus, Facebook bought Oculus in 2014. Now, Oculus is a subsidiary of Facebook and makes VR headsets. Oculus has two main devices:

  • Oculus Rift
  • Oculus Quest

Oculus Quest is an untethered standalone head-mounted device, while Oculus Rift is a tethered one.

After Facebook’s acquisition, in 2016, the first product launched by Oculus for consumers was Oculus Rift. After a few months, they also launched motion controllers for the headset called Oculus Touch.

Product Details: Amazon

This article focuses on the Oculus Rift, its specifications, features, and progress so far.

The entry of the Oculus Rift in the world of VR gaming was exciting enough to put the world in awe. The Oculus Rift is an incredible computer compatible headset, which is significantly more captivating. The lower cost of Oculus Rift makes it more appealing amongst the users, and the addition of Oculus Touch controllers makes it more engaging in the world of Virtual Reality.

It is now time for the Oculus Rift to make way for its successor, the Oculus Rift S. It is exclusively designed for Windows 10 computers, and the name “S” is an indication that it is not advanced enough to claim itself Oculus Rift 2, yet it is indeed a giant leap forward.

Product Details: Amazon

The original Oculus Rift had exterior sensors to trace the location and orientation of controllers and head-mounted devices, but the updated model of Oculus Rift, which is known as Oculus Rift S, has a thorough tracking system with integrated cameras inside the head-mounted device. That’s why Oculus Rift S provides an easy and simpler setup. You just need to connect your headset with a VR compatible PC and start using this headset. Generally, Oculus Rift takes much time to get started rather than Oculus Rift S; 15 minutes, and it is ready to use.

Moreover, Rift S has improved its visual quality as well. Now, the displays have a bit higher resolution compared to the original Oculus Rift.

The Oculus Rift S includes a built-in VR sound system, which ensures that you are genuinely present in another world. The headphones are detachable as well. It also provides an exceptional integrated microphone for social communications.

Oculus Rift S is an improved and comfortable headset, in which the latest head strap pattern is introduced. Halo shaped head strap in Rift S is for a better and comfortable journey of VR. It doesn’t matter how long you have played, the thing that matters most is your comfort. This is because a few rift users showed dissatisfaction about comfort with the head strap of the previous Oculus Rift, so while making its latest model, the manufacturers kept this thing in mind. Furthermore, the latest headset provides an additional area to accommodate users who wear glasses. And that’s an incredible thing!

Oculus Rift S comes with an extended HDMI cable, which permits users to play more comfortably in a playing area.

Concerning the controllers, the Oculus Rift S has introduced an improved design. The controllers bring hand-presence, i.e., a feeling that your own hands are working virtually rather than controllers. It will take everyone’s virtual experience to the next level. These Oculus Touch controllers have the same features as the Oculus Quest controllers have. The controllers of Rift S are just like the controllers of the previous Rift, with one modification in its design. Each controller has a conventional joystick, which can be operated with a thumb, two knobs/buttons, and a trigger button. These controllers have no wires, so you can move and play freely in the virtual world.

A spec-to-spec comparison of the two controllers mapped out for readers will explain what has changed and what still needs improvement. One bad news is that the latest model Oculus Rift S has a low refreshing speed than the previous Oculus Rift and has fixed lenses, but on the positive side, it has improved resolution, power, and tracking systems. Comparison of the Rift and Rift S specifications is given below:


The resolution of Oculus Rift is 2160×1200 and 1080×1200 pixels per eye, while the resolution power of Oculus Rift S is 2560×1440 and 1280×1440 per eye. So, Oculus Rift S has improved resolution power and pixel per eye, so it has better graphics and display.

Pixel Density

The Oculus Rift S has a pixel density of 600ppi, and Oculus Rift has 456ppi.

Screen Type

In Oculus Rift S, an LCD screen is used, while in Oculus Rift, PenTile OLED is used.

Refreshing Speed

The Oculus Rift has a 90Hz refreshing speed, while the latest version has 80Hz, which is a drawback of Oculus Rift S.

Field of view

Field of view (FOV) for Oculus Rift S is approximately 115 degrees, whereas Rift has 110 degrees.

IPD (Inter-Pupillary Distance)

In Oculus Rift S, lenses are fixed, i.e., 64mm, but IPD can be adjusted using the software. In Oculus Rift, it is adjustable, i.e., 58-71mm. An illustration of interpupillary distance (IPD) is shown below:


Different sensors like accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer are common in both devices. But Rift needs external sensors for tracking, whereas Rift S has 5 cameras on the headset for tracking. Therefore, it does not need external sensors.


The Oculus Rift S has touch controllers, which have a 360-degree tracking system; on the contrary, Oculus Rift has 180-degree tracking support.


The weight of Oculus Rift is 470 grams but Oculus Rift S weigh560 grams; it is heavier than the previous model but distributed better over the head when you wear it. It has improved balance and stability.

Release Date

Oculus Rift was released in 2016, whereas the latest one Oculus Rift S was launched in 2019.


The price of the Oculus Rift was $599 when it was released initially, but now it cost$349, while Oculus Rift S is $399 after release. It is much cheaper than the previous model.


The Oculus Rift is a great step ahead; it serenely creates an intense and refreshing VR experience that will keep on improving with the upgrade of the latest software that has been consistently releasing on the Oculus store. This innovation provides clear visualization and a built-in sound system, which takes you to explore the entire virtual environment. Oculus Rift S is a minor up-gradation from its predecessor, but still, team Oculus took notice of the issues and resolved it. If you are having difficulties with the original Rift, e.g., conformability, then Rift S is a worthy upgrade.

About the author

Sam U

I am a professional graphics designer with over 6 years of experience. Currently doing research in virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.
I hardly watch movies but love to read tech related books and articles.