Facebook says Oculus Rift S headsets “generally” won’t be replenished as they disappear from store shelves, marking the end of the virtual reality system’s life span. As UploadVR reported yesterday, Facebook has confirmed that “generally speaking, as channels sell out of stock, they won’t be replenished moving forward.” The PC-tethered headset is unavailable through Oculus’ store, and it’s out of stock on retail platforms like Amazon and Walmart in the US, except from third-party sellers.
Facebook announced last year that it would discontinue the Oculus Rift S in 2021. While the headset was a successor to the landmark Oculus Rift, it compromised on features like screen resolution and refresh rate, particularly compared to high-end PC-based competitors like the Valve Index. Meanwhile, Facebook shifted its focus to the self-contained Oculus Quest, a mobile headset that can also be plugged into a desktop PC — making it functionally a replacement for the Rift S.
According to some reports, that strategy was a marked departure from Oculus’ earlier plans. Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe left the company in 2018, reportedly after Facebook canceled a higher-end “Rift 2” headset. Also-departed Oculus founder Palmer Luckey alluded to that rumor on Twitter today, saying he was “imagining a world where Rift 2 was not cancelled shortly before going into production and then cancelled again in favor of a much lower spec Lenovo rebadge.” (The Oculus Rift S was produced in partnership with Lenovo.)
Moving to standalone designs, though, has apparently worked well for Facebook so far. Facebook says last year’s Oculus Quest 2 has outsold all previous Oculus headsets combined. The device has established Facebook as the dominant VR headset company at the price of ceding high-end PC-based VR to competitors including Valve, HTC, and HP. And Facebook has indicated that it’s continuing the Quest line for the near future — with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying he’s already imagining “Quest 3 and 4” headsets.
The Oculus Rift S Is Dead, as Stock "Won't Be Replenished"
By Ste Knight
If you were thinking about grabbing an Oculus Rift S, then do so quick because when they're gone, they're gone.
It would seem that Facebook's range of PC-only VR headsets is about to fade into obscurity, as inventory runs dry and Facebook confirms it won't be replenishing stock.
Facebook Discontinues the Oculus Rift S
Facebook's PC-only VR system, the Oculus Rift S, will no longer be available as stocks of the system have now depleted almost to zero.
In a statement to UploadVR, Facebook has said:
Rift S is still available for sale currently in some channels around the world, but as we announced last year, we plan to stop selling Rift S in 2021. Generally speaking, as channels sell out of stock, they won’t be replenished moving forward.
So, Facebook has cruelly dashed your plans to invest in a VR gaming ecosystem that only works on PC (and a powerful one at that). If those were actually your plans...
You can buy the Rift S from third parties, but once this stock has gone, that's it; no more Oculus Rift S.
Why Has Facebook Stopped Selling the Oculus Rift S?
In October 2020, Facebook debuted the impressive Oculus Quest 2. It proved to be incredibly popular, quickly outselling Facebook's entire existing range of VR gear.
To put it bluntly, the Quest 2 is a vastly superior device. It is easier for owners to handle, thanks to its lightweight construction. This slimming down of the original Oculus Quest meant that, despite being more powerful than its predecessor, the Quest 2 came with a reasonably low price tag of $299 on launch.
These factors combined meant that the Rift S dropped out of favor. The Quest 2 is simply a more attractive deal in all respects. Facebook recognized this a year ago, and now it has decided that the time has come to kill the Rift S.
What Are the Alternatives to the Oculus Rift S?
With Facebook discontinuing the Rift S, you might ask what alternatives are available to you.
The first and most obvious answer is the Oculus Quest 2. As already mentioned, this device retails at $299. Just head to the Oculus Quest 2 store page at oculus.com.
You could also try out Valve Index, a similar ecosystem developed by the creators of Steam. This doesn't come cheap, though, as it can cost up to almost $1,000 to get started with Valve's VR setup.
Or, if you own a PS5, then you might as well hang on while Sony finishes off developing its own VR environment, native to the new-gen PlayStation 5. We've got no idea on price for this, though. Sony is yet to announce such details.
So you still have plenty of options if you're looking to invest in a VR setup of your own.
Will You Be Investing in VR?
VR and AR are both very much on the up right now. With that in mind, it makes sense to acclimatize ourselves with virtual realities, if we haven't already. Investing in VR equipment is probably a good move now, providing you have the cash.
Whether VR becomes the future of everything remains to be seen, but with vast companies like Facebook investing in VR and AR platforms, it looks like a safe bet that both will see enormous surges in popularity and use as we head into 2022 and beyond.
With VR and AR proving their viability across a range of disciplines, here's what lies ahead for the emerging technologies.
Read NextAbout The Author
Ste is the Junior Gaming Editor here at MUO. He is a faithful PlayStation follower, but has plenty of room for other platforms, too. Loves all kinds of tech, from AV, through home theatre, and (for some little-known reason) cleaning tech. Meal provider for four cats. Likes to listen to repetitive beats.
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It was a nice run, but the Oculus Rift S is no longer available on the Oculus site
It took a little bit, but the Rift S is no longer available on the Oculus website, having vanished without a direct successor to a dedicated PC VR headset. Those duties have been handed off to the Quest 2, a standalone headset (the hardware is built in) that can also be tethered to a PC.
It was only a matter of time, really. Facebook announced in April of this year that it would not be sending more Rift S units to retailers—once they sold out, that was it for the Rift S.
"Rift S is still available for sale currently in some channels around the world, but as we announced last year, we plan to stop selling Rift S in 2021," Facebook told UploadVR at the time. "Generally speaking, as channels sell out of stock, they won't be replenished."
A visit to the Wayback Machine indicates the Rift S became unavailable at the Oculus site sometime in May. Oculus still maintains a Rift S product page, but when visiting the 'compare' section, only the Quest 2 has a 'Buy Now' button.
We have mixed feelings about this. In all reality, the Quest 2 is the best VR headset for most people, and compared to the Rift S, it offers a higher resolution display, faster refresh rate, and more flexibility. However, the Quest 2 requires a Facebook login.
That is a deal killer for some people, and it didn't help that Facebook recently started testing ads in Oculus games. This was not received well by the public—Resolution Games, the developer behind the first game (Blaston) to incorporate ads, backed out out of the program following a review bombing campaign that resulted from the in-game ads.
Interestingly, the Quest 2 had overtaken the Rift S in March as the most popular headset on Steam. A look at the stats now, however, shows the Rift S as being back on top, albeit by less than a full percentage point. Still, as of this moment, the Rift S is the most widely used headset for PC VR gaming on Steam.
If you were hoping for a direct successor to the Rift S, unfortunately it doesn't look like there is going to be one. In reaction to the news that Facebook was moving on from the Rift S, Palmer Luckey, who left Facebook in 2017, said on Twitter that a Rift 2 project was "cancelled shortly before going into production and then cancelled again in favor of a much lower spec Lenovo rebadge."
It is the end of an era, in a sense. The Rift S replaced the original Rift, which played a huge roll in popularizing VR following a highly successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter—it attracted nearly $2.5 million in pledges in 2012, making it the most funded project at the time. Then a couple of years later, Facebook purchased Oculus for $2 billion.
What does the future of VR hold? That's a good question. Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook Reality Labs, said a few months ago that right now, a Quest 3 is not in development. It may materialize at some point, but not before a Quest Pro, which itself is "a little ways off still."
"For those who are curious, Quest 2 is going to be in the market for a while—for a long while, and it's gonna be, you know, I think the best bet for the most accessible way to get into VR and have a great experience," Bosworth said.
So there you have it—the Rift S is retired, and the Quest 2 will carry the VR headset torch at Oculus for the foreseeable future.
Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).
Facebook is currently selling the Oculus Rift S for $100 less than its usual price, taking the headset to $299. Maybe don’t jump straight at that offer.
This promotion is live now across Facebook’s official store and Newegg and is available in the UK Amazon store for £299 too. It’s a big discount for the PC VR headset, but there are several reasons you should consider holding off.
Oculus Rift S Sale Isn’t Such A Great Deal
For starters, while we do like the Rift S overall, the headset does have some key issues. It doesn’t have a way to physically adjust the lenses to suit your interpupillary distance (IPD), instead relying on a digital solution that limits how clear and comfortable the kit is for some people visually. The built-in audio solution is also pretty weak and the headset basically needs headphones or earphones for immersive sound.
Secondly, Facebook will soon stop selling the Rift S itself, so there’s not likely to be much platform support for the device moving forward. Facebook will continue to let developers release new titles on the Rift store (including the highly anticipated Facebook-published Lone Echo 2 and today’s launch of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond), but new platform updates are likely to be thin on the ground.
What’s more, $299 is the same price as the 64GB model of the Oculus Quest 2, Facebook’s new standalone/PC VR hybrid headset. Not only does Quest 2 let you play a library of games without any other hardware but, with the right USB-C cable, you can also plug it into a PC and play Rift and SteamVR content too with Oculus Link. Image compression is an issue, but Facebook continues to improve upon it. Quest 2’s screen resolution is also better than Rift S’s so, while the PC VR headset is more comfortable to wear, Quest 2 is otherwise the far superior device.
It is possible that we see further price reductions of the Rift S as stock continues to go, but even then we’d have to see the device fall significantly lower than Quest 2’s price for any deal to get our recommendation.
Will you be taking advantage of the Oculus Rift S sale or giving it a miss? Let us know in the comments below.
Jamie has been covering the VR industry since 2014 having come from a gaming and technology background. While he loves games, he's most interested in experiential VR that explores narrative, human connection and other such themes. He's also the host of Upload's VR Showcases, which you should definitely watch.Twitter
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Oculus rift s selling
Facebook to stop selling Oculus Rift S next spring as it bets on Quest 2
With the Oculus Quest 2 positioned as the ideal $299 VR headset, one that can work completely standalone and connected to a PC, what’s the point of the Oculus Rift S? It seems that Facebook has had the same thought. The company plans to stop selling the Rift S sometime next spring, Oculus representatives said in a media briefing. Instead, the company will be positioning the Quest 2 as its flagship offering.
It’s hard not to see why. The Rift S was a tough sell when it was announced — for $399 you got a middling headset that wasn’t nearly as exciting as the original Quest for the same price. And in many ways, it felt like a step back from the sleek design of the original Oculus Rift. Once Facebook announced Oculus Link for the Quest, which allowed it to work as a PC VR headset, the Rift S seemed even more useless.
It turns out Facebook answered the question I had last year, when I asked who needs the Rift S when the Quest can do everything? It turns out, nobody does.
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