Come Spring 2019 Oculus’ lineup of virtual reality (VR) headsets is going to have an odd one out. There will be the entry level Oculus Go standalone headset for VR newcomers, then the newly revealed Oculus Quest to offer a much more premium all-in-one solution. Then there’s the original, the head-mounted display (HMD) that started it all, the Oculus Rift. The latter will be the odd one out due to its cable, and at Oculus Connect 5 this week the company confirmed there are no first-party plans to change that.
When VRFocus asked the Head of Oculus Rift team Nate Mitchell about development of an official wireless adapter for Oculus Rift he commented: “No plan for any official wireless adapter for the Rift today. I think there’s a number of third-party solutions out there, but we don’t have any official plans.”
There are indeed third-party solutions with the most well known being the TPCAST device. This launched towards the end of 2017, with a price drop occurring in July 2018. That brought it down from £349 GBP to £324, and nowadays its even cheaper with OverclockersUK retailing it for £289.99. Even so, that’s still fairly near to the price of the Oculus Rift itself, meaning you’ve really got to want to go wireless to invest.
But would a first-party adapter from Oculus been any cheaper? Probably not by much, if at all. This week saw the official launch of the Vive Wireless Adaptor, a collaboration between HTC Vive, Intel and DisplayLink. HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro users will need to spend £299 and £364 respectively to upgrade their headsets for complete immersive freedom.
So Oculus Rift users will just have to be content with their cable unless they’ve got the cash to splash on TPCAST. Whose that do want wireless freedom then Oculus Quest certainly seems to be the way to go. How well both Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift will sit together at the same price remains to be seen. For further coverage from Oculus Connect 5, keep reading VRFocus.