Looking for a solid VR headset on the cheap? Or maybe a legacy headset for your growing collection? Oculus is now selling its 2016-era Rift for $300 for a limited time.
The company is selling a limited supply of refurbished packages containing the original Oculus Rift and Touch controllers direct on its website. The new Rift S costs $400, although stock has proven to be touch and go due to coronavirus-related supply chain disruptions.
Released in March 2016, Oculus Rift originally shipped without Touch controllers, instead arriving with an Xbox One gamepad, a single external tracking sensor, and a basic remote for media navigation—the entire bundle priced at $600. It wasn’t until December 2016 that Touch finally arrived, which came with an additional tracking sensor for a total of $200. Granted, cheaper all-in bundles were offered throughout Rift’s life cycle before being replaced by the Rift S in May 2019, as it was offered at an all-time low of $350 near its end.
Although the original Rift features a notably lower resolution than the newer Rift S—dual 1,080 × 1,200 OLED panels clocked at 90 Hz vs a single 2,560 x 1,440 LCD panel (1,280 x 1,440 pixels per eye) at 80 Hz on Rift S—it does feature a few features Oculus removed in the newer model.
Thanks to its mechanical interpupilary distance (IPD) adjustments, a wider range of users can use the original; Rift S uses an in-software solution that is said to accommodate 70% of users over the 95% provided by the 2016-era Rift.
It also has a rigid headstrap that fits snuggly to your head and integrated audio, the latter of which was replaced in Rift S for a down-firing, open-ear audio design. Your mileage may vary, but some users like the original headstrap over the new halo style.
Granted, one of the biggest differences is the original’s ‘outside-in’ tracking sensors, which require direct line-of-sight with the headset and controllers to track properly. For best results, you’ll also need three USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 2.0 port, and an HDMI 1.3 port—a bit of a cabling nightmare in comparison to Rift S’ more simplified requirement of a single DisplayPort 1.2 port and one USB 3.0 port thanks to its ‘inside-out’ optical tracking integrated into the headset itself.
Of course, all titles built for Rift S work on the original Rift too, and it can also play a vast majority of VR games available through Steam. It’s not a horrible deal if you’re looking for a solid headset that can play pretty much every PC VR game out there, whether it be an Oculus exclusive like Asgard’s Wrath (2019), or Valve’s SteamVR-based Half-Life: Alyx (2020).
What’s in the Box
- Headset – A soft, comfortable headset with custom optics provide incredible visual fidelity and a wide field of view.
- Touch controllers – Touch is a pair of tracked controllers that provide intuitive hand presence in VR—the feeling that your virtual hands are actually your own.
- Two Sensors – Rift sensors track constellations of IR LEDs to translate your movement into VR whether you’re sitting down or standing up.
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