Oculus announced a new VR headset called the Oculus Rift S this morning, and although we don’t know when it will launch, all signs point to the original Rift getting phased out very quickly. The Oculus Rift is currently out of stock just about everywhere except Oculus’ own site where it’s still listed as shipping within two days.
The Rift has been on its way out for a while; UploadVR noted last week that it was effectively only officially available through Oculus. But at that point, Oculus’ parent company Facebook wouldn’t confirm whether it was retiring the device. Now that Oculus has publicly said that it’s replacing the Rift with the Rift S, it’s not offering much assurance that the first-generation headset will remain available for long. “While we don’t comment on specific shipment windows or allocations, [we] can confirm [the] original Rift is still available for sale at Oculus.com and from our retail partners while supplies last,” a spokesperson tells The Verge.
Oculus says it’s shipping the Rift S before summer, and it might launch during Facebook’s F8 conference at the end of April. (We’re also waiting for the standalone Oculus Quest headset, which will launch in the same window but not necessarily on the same day.) That would leave slightly more than a month to sell out the remaining Rift inventory.
The Rift S has a completely new inside-out tracking system, which means no more USB cameras on sticks. It’s got higher resolution (but a lower refresh rate) than the original Rift, and a new design similar to the PlayStation VR, which Oculus partner Lenovo licensed some patents for last year. The headset also runs on the same PCs as the original Rift, and it only costs $50 more. So it’s likely worth holding off anyhow, unless you’ve got a specific reason for buying the old headset. Unless we’re incredibly unlucky, the Rift S will ship faster than its predecessor, which was backordered for months after launch.