Oculus Rift S is dead — here's what to buy instead

Oculus Rift S
(Image credit: Future)

It looks like it’s the end of the road for the Oculus Rift S, as stock of the virtual reality headset won't be replaced, effectively consigning it to an ‘end-of-life position.  

A Facebook representative told UploadVR that the social network no longer plans to sell the Rift S this year, adding: "Generally speaking, as channels sell out of stock, they won’t be replenished moving forward."

Currently, the Oculus Rift S holds the second spot on our best VR headsets list, offering built-in room tracking, solid touch controls and an expansive game library for $399. It’s an impressive VR headset and a successor to the headset that basically brought VR into the 21st century. However, it requires tethering to a gaming PC, unlike the Oculus Quest 2, which is our top VR headset pick. 

And in many ways the Quest 2 overshadows the Rift S. The latter has a sharper display resolution, but the Quest 2 offers a higher refresh rate and a self-contained VR experience, whereas the Rift S needs to be connected to a PC. 

While these headsets serve different types of VR experiences, an optional cable allows the Quest 2 to be tethered to a PC, essentially turning it into a Rift S replacement. So the Quest 2 arguably renders the Rift S a little moot. 

If you can find the Rift S at a good price as it enters its twilight years, then it’s worth getting. But otherwise, the Quest 2 is the VR headset of choice at Tom’s Guide. Check out our where to buy Oculus Quest 2 guide for a selection of U.S and U.K retailers offering the stellar VR headset. 

As for what’s next for Facebook and VR, it’ll keep building out the Oculus ecosystem. And rumors are pointing towards an Oculus Quest 3, though we don't expect to see that until at least 2022 given the Quest 2 only came out in the second half of 2020. 

So we can raise a glass to the Oculus Rift S and how it offered a solid VR headset for people with powerful PCs. But we can also keep an eye on the horizon for what could happen next with the Oculus Quest 2 and its potential successor. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.