Currently, the Oculus Rift S is proving to be very hard to come by, with Oculus’ website continually saying out of stock and other resellers aren’t fairing much better. So the company has taken a leaf out of HTC Vive’s handbook from 2019 and begun selling refurbished Oculus Rift CV1’s.
Whilst stocks last – they are limited supposedly – customers in the US can buy one of the original Oculus headsets first released in 2016 for the low price of $299 USD. That’s $100 cheaper than the current Oculus Rift S model and these are actually available now.
For that price, you get the headset, a pair of Oculus Touch controllers and two tracking sensors. Saving that cash does then mean you have to go back to finding enough USB ports on your computer (three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port and an HDMI 1.3 port). The current Oculus Rift S does away with most of that cabling hassle thanks to its inside-out tracking – Oculus Insight – requiring only one DisplayPort 1.2 port and one USB 3.0 port.
As for other feature changes the Oculus Rift CV1 does sport actual headphones instead of the built-in sound piping and manual mechanical interpupillary distance (IPD) adjustment rather than the digital version on the Oculus Rift S. The mechanical IPD offers a wider adjustment so that more users can be accommodated.
Of course, the major change between the two headsets was in the display technology. Oculus Rift CV1 has two 1,080 x 1,200 OLED panels running at 90 Hz while the Oculus Rift S boasts a single 2,560 x 1,440 LCD panel (1,280 x 1,440 pixels per eye) running at 90 Hz.
Important to note is the fact that all the titles on the Oculus Store or Steam built for the Rift platform work on either headset, so you’re not missing out if you buy a refurbished model. If you’re eager to play Half-Life: Alyx and don’t have a headset yet, this might be the quickest way to go – for those in the US.
As mentioned, HTC Vive previously sold pre-owned models of its 2016 VR headset last year for $399. These are no longer available. When stocks of headsets like Oculus Rift S are replenished, VRFocus will let you know.