Fast-forward seven years, after a more than $2 billionand the 2016 release of the Rift, and Oculus is preparing to launch its next-generation VR headsets.
They're called the, and (£399 in the UK; Australian pricing is TBA but the UK price converts to about AU$740). But they're rather different headsets.
Theis self-contained, working without a computer to power it or any extra sensors set up around a room to track where you're moving. The , meanwhile, offers better visuals while still connected by wire to a computer, but it also ditches sensors around a room.
"Now, getting into VR is as easy as gaming on a console," Facebook said in a statement.
The new headsets come as Valve, whose Steam store and Half-Life first-person shooter series have made it a household name among gamers, prepares to release its first headset, the $499 Valve Index. And that's not including other competitors, such as Sony's $299 , HTC's and headsets from Lenovo, and Samsung that're powered by .
Whether the new devices will draw users is anyone's guess. A recent survey from industry tracker IDC, which was sponsored by Sony, found that headset sales in the US, UK, Germany, France and Japan rose 60% in 2018 to 3.9 million headsets, up from 2.4 million in 2017. But that's still small compared with the hundreds of millions of video game consoles Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have sold since 2013.
Here'sabout the Quest and Rift S so far.
The Rift S is a refinement
Oculus says the Rift S will offer more-detailed and sharper-looking visuals than, which shipped in 2016.
But the real change is to the cameras mounted on its sides. There are two in the front, one on each side, and one on the top, all designed to track the outside world using a technology called "Oculus Insight," so that the headset knows when you're leaning one direction or another or suddenly duck to avoid something. Those cameras work in concert with the company's hand controllers too.
The Quest is a new device
Whereas the Rift and Rift S rely on an outside computer connected by a wire to power the virtual world you see, and the $199 Oculus Go is designed to be a wire-free self-contained entry-level VR device, the Oculus Quest is meant to be somewhere in the middle.
At its heart, the Quest is meant to offer higher-end games designed to work with the Oculus hand controllers, like the music rhythm game Beat Saber and the boxing game Creed: Rise to Glory. But it's also self-contained, running a powerful, yet small, computer in the headset.
To pull off that trick, developers say, the Oculus Quest isn't as capable as its beefier cousin, the Rift S. Its screen doesn't show as many details, it's not able to pack as many characters on the screen at a time, and apps made for it can't assume they'll always be connected to the internet. (Sometimes people might take this on a train or on vacation).
The Quest still uses the same controllers as the Rift S
Though the Quest and Rift S won't always be able to play the same games, the Quest will have the same controllers. That's a step up from the entry-level Oculus Go, which hadthat wasn't capable of doing as much as the more full-fledged hand controllers Oculus offers.
They're both $399, go on preorder Tuesday and ship May 21
If you're already convinced, you can preorder the devices on the Oculus website, at Amazon and elsewhere. Full preorder info is available here, or you can just use the buttons below (note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products).