Last week to everyone’s surprise Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe announced that he would be leaving the company after six years helping the virtual reality (VR) industry become what it is today. Supposedly part of the reason for leaving was a conflict with Facebook regarding the next version of the Oculus Rift, with the Oculus Rift 2 allegedly being cancelled. In a new report, Facebook seems to be going down the upgrade route instead, opting for an Oculus Rift S model.
Much like the console scene and the HTC Vive Pro, Facebook is supposedly looking to add minor improvements to the current Oculus Rift model, reports TechCrunch. These could include upping the resolution to improve visual quality whilst removing the screen door effect, as well as adding the inside-out tracking system from the Oculus Quest, negating the need for the external sensors.
There are pros and cons to this path. With inside-out tracking, for example, setup is far easier and user-friendly over trailing cables to a PC. On the other hand, the system is more susceptible to certain lighting conditions which external sensors can easily handle, making them far more accurate.
Whether a hardware strategy like this will work remains to be seen. It has in other industries such as smartphones with the iPhone or videogame consoles, Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro, but that’s not to say it’ll work here. And reportedly this new ‘Oculus Rift S’ may even appear next year, which would surely confuse new consumers.
“While we don’t comment on rumours/speculation about our future products, as we shared last week, PC VR remains a part of our strategy and is a category we will continue to invest in,” an Oculus spokesperson told TechCrunch. “In addition to hardware, we have a robust software roadmap and are funding content well into 2020.”
In any case, Oculus likely won’t be releasing any details on the headset until after the Oculus Quest has launched. Should any information arise, VRFocus will let you know.