Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 24 Jun 2020.
Rest in peace, Go. You made everyone look bad, and your departure was well overdue.
On the plus side, with Oculus now focusing its efforts on just one VR headset
Don't they have the Rift S and Quest? Two headsets, not one.
Which headset keeps getting updates and new features?
Which headset hardware is actually made by Lenovo and never gotten new features throughout its life?
Yes, they sell 2 products on their website under one branding....... but ........
As @wyx087 says, the Rift S is a Lenovo headset with a different badge and that's why only the Quest has been updated and improved.
The Quest is clearly where they want to be. The Rift was cut loose the very instant it was discontinued(there's a lot of upset Rift owners because their proprietary interface cable failed and there's no replacement parts), and the Rift S was lazily outsourced.
But in fairness, most of the features added to the Quest are actually only relevant to the Quest, and the Rift S inherited a rather nice setup from the original Rift. (Compare the current state of the Rift Home and Quest Home and you realize that they share only a name, with the former being a place you can customize, play around in, and invite friends into, while the latter is a pretty menu)
That said, I still don't understand why the Rift S wasn't a Quest with a different logic board. It has never struck me as reasonable to have two almost completely unrelated products when they could be sharing a LOT of parts between the two.
Of course, ever since they added Oculus Link*, the argument for the Rift S to even EXIST has gotten a lot more tenuous. They exist at the same price point, but the Quest is physically more comfortable(by most counts), has a lens spacing adjustment, runs higher-resolution displays with better color and contrast... AND it can also be unplugged from the "grown-up" computer and used as a sort of VR GameBoy (a "Virtual Boy", if you will).
The only thing the Rift S has going for it is display refresh rate, and it's not THAT much different(72 vs 80 Hz, both down from the 90 of the original Rift and Vive)
There is, to my eye, literally no reason to buy a Rift S, even if you only intend to use your headset for PC VR.
*Also, screw Oculus Link. Buy Virtual Desktop on the Quest and the Quest can do PC VR wirelessly(though facebook makes you jump through an extra hoop or two to enable it). Which is nice if your network behaves(mine usually doesn't, but... my network is far from optimal).
The Rift S is not getting functional additions (it's getting plenty of updates) because it shares an identical support-base to CV1. The two are intended to be functionally interchangeable, to the point that any hardware setup that meets the performance criteria for CV1 also meets it for Rift S. This means all their PC headsets have the exact same performance target and the exact same functional target. Adding hand-tracking (for example) to Rift S would now mean developers have to target two different PC install bases: those who can track hands and those who cannot.This was stated explicitly before Rift S even started shipping.
Quest, on the other hand, is a unitary platform. Additions can be rolled out without breaking prior support or leaving half the install base incompatible with newer software.
Anyone with a Rift S and a Quest hooked to a PC side by side will pick the Rift S every day of the week for PC use. Comfort is higher, visual clarity is MUCH better (both improved optics, a higher number of subpixels, and an improved fill-factor), visual distortion is lower (optics have a MUCH larger eyebox), pixel persistence time is lower, subjective contrast is very close (neither CV1 nor Quest use true black due to the OLED power-on delay time, and the sealed environment mean your eyes adapt to the available contrast range of the panel), and you do not have visual quality and update latency impacted by video compression to 150mbit.
Quest is fantastic for portable use. But if I'm at home, or taking a HMD to somewhere with a PC at the other end: Rift S every time, no hesitation whatsoever.
The screen technology used in Rift S is indeed superior to OLED in quest. I saw this the other day: https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/hg54b8/sde_rift_s_left_vs_quest_right/ I was amazed at the difference.
Hand tracking will indeed divide the install base, something I hadn't thought of. But as far as I know, Rift S didn't get glance-able guardian and guardian object detection. Both are very useful when putting on the headset and mid gameplay. Admittedly still early days, because they just appeared on Quest a few weeks ago.
Going forward, it would appear FB would will want a single device for the mass market, not multiple. It's likely the next device will be Quest-like in feature but without compromises when working as PCVR. Rift may remain just as an Oculus PCVR brand name or development standard.
It had Passthrough+ (depth remapped passthrough) and triggerable passthrough at launch.
Where is the point in early adopting/adopting at all, if your headset is going to be obsolete in several years, rather than the decade+ I've been using my 360 for, for example - current consoles being similar price? I might not have worded that especially well, but I would be peed off if I bought one of these expecting long-term support as a reward for faith/loyalty/whatever, only to find it was a nice sun-visor not long after. Admittedly, £150 won't break me (at the moment), but imagine if you were a kid who'd saved up for it. Admittedlyer, I also don't know how long it's been out, but I got the sense from the article that it wasn't long. Admittedleyerest, I also know nothing about whether this just means they're not providing updates but you can still buy games from the store, as that wasn't clear. My 360 has run and run due to second hand market and sheer number of initial choices. If the limited choice of games for a particular platform peters out (unlike the PC market, to which the headset is "attached"), then it has a very limited lifespan indeed.
I may be getting this completely AAF though, in which case - apologies!
Which brings me to:
This is completely anathema to the whole PC culture. Stuff should be interchangeable, even modular. Nothing proprietary at all. Although I do take the point that a GPU is a similar value item, that item will run for donkeys (albeit with less grunt (hee-haw?)) and can be sold on. If a VR headset/marketplace or its proprietary gear is ditched, you're limited to the games you currently have, or own another nice sun-visor. You can't even sell it on as I assume games will be downloads linked to your own account.
@edzieba - I listened to what you said to me in response a few weeks back on another thread, but what has held me back is the chance of motion sickness. Bit expensive if it's just going to sit there. Is this a common thing? Can you take a headset back if it doesn't suit?
I know why they did it. Reduce the weight and stiffness of the cabling to the headset for increased comfort(as I recall, cable bulk was considered a real problem on the Vive). There's a USB3 and HDMI connector on one end of the single cable, and something like an MP3 player dock connector on the other.
But there seem to be no third-party replacement cables, and Facebook axed the cable immediately upon discontinuing the hardware, which is just a jerk move(especially as it is a likely point of failure).
As far as the Go, my understanding is they aren't selling them anymore, but the store is still open. Article says it is seeing security updates through 2022.
I don't begrudge them discontinuing the Go. It was designed for passive media viewing, but the market viewed it as an entry game platform and tended to find VR underwhelming after trying it. The 3-axis head and controller tracking were incredibly limiting and left people with a false impression of what VR can do(also, 3-axis headtracking seems to contribute greatly to VR sickness). All Go was doing was poisoning the well.
The Go itself was first released in May 2018 (so >2 years old), but the platform is pretty much identical to GearVR (3DoF tracked HMD, single 3DoF tracked controller, essentially Android with a VR skin over the top and some deep messing about in the display draw chain) which stretches back to Nov 2015 (so nearly half a decade).
Any feature updates are stopping as is guaranteed hardware support once the current warranty periods end (like normal will likely continue based on component availability, like with CV1), but you can still buy games and use the HMD as normal. I suspect the Go marketplace may stick around for a decent amount of time, as the Quest can also now run Go games.
Oculus were screwed over here. They adopted Spectra7's MicroChroma connector as a unitary HMD-side connector, to reduce weight and bulk vs. two separate USB and HDMI sockets (the OG Vive solution). Spectra7 were unable to sell the MicroChroma to anyone else, so they discontinued it. Oculus literally cannot manufacture more cables if they wanted to: nobody else makes the connector, they do not own the rights to manufacture them, and manufacturing high-bandwidth small form factor connectors (and attaching them to cables, which is nearly as hard) requires highly specialised equipment with Spectra7 having the only tooling on the planet.
For the Rift S, they switched to the SFF-8611 (AKA OCuLink) for the HMD end connector, as recommended by the VirtualLink consortium. As does the Valve Index.
As for PC culture: Every new piece of technology goes through the proprietary phase where multiple competing companies have their own mutually incompatible way of doing things for a few years. Then, once everyone has a common set of actually necessary functions settled on (most of which didn't even exist when the new tech first arrived) then everyone gets together and some sort of standard gets hashed out and implemented. Sound cards, graphics cards, input peripherals, printer interfaces, etc. Same has happened in the VR space, and now OpenXR is on the way as a unifying API.
Trying (decent) VR is the only real way to tell how susceptible to sim-sickness you may be. Normally I'd recommend borrowing one from a friend or purchasing one to try within the return period, but in the current climate sharing of things that by design are wiped over your face is not the best of ideas (not sure how things stand with regards to return rights here).
I checked the Currys website and found this:
An unwanted product can be returned for a full refund within 21 days of delivery as long as it’s still in its original, unopened packaging. This returns policy for unopened goods is in addition to your statutory rights and applies to purchases made in store, online or over the phone.
Separately to the 21 day policy above, and in accordance with your rights when you purchase goods online or over the phone, unwanted items can be returned even if you have opened them for inspection as long as you let us know within 14 calendar days from the day after delivery. Once you have told us you want to return an item, you should do so without undue delay and not later than 14 days from the day on which you informed us of your decision to cancel the order. You can examine the goods as you would in a shop but to obtain a full refund you must not start using them, install them or input any data/software. The goods must be returned in ‘as new’ condition and in their original packaging.
But how are you supposed to find out whether something either works or is fit for purpose unless you "start using it". I thought I read somewhere a while back that this couldn't apply to computer parts etc., because there is no way you can evaluate them by just picking them up as you would in a shop. Don't distance selling regs apply here too?
Considering there is a shortage in VR headset stock. It may be possible to sell as second hand with minimal loss.
That was the mindset I had when I got stock alert on Oculus Quest from John Lewis. I can sell it on as "lightly used" if it's not suitable for me, or keep it if I like it. When I checked back in April, Quest was selling for over RRP of £400 on eBay.
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