What just happened? Facebook has stated that once the current stock of Oculus Rift S headsets dries up, the company won't be replenishing it with new units, therefore announcing its discontinuation. Moving forward, Facebook will focus on making the Oculus Quest 2 the first "mainstream" VR headset.
When Facebook launched the Lenovo-made Oculus Rift S in 2019, the VR headset was received with mixed feelings. As a successor of the original Rift from 2016, the Rift S improved in some areas, but in a few others, it was actually worse. For example, the Rift S features a total higher display resolution (2560x1440p vs 2160x1200p), but at the cost of a lower refresh rate (80Hz vs 90Hz).
Despite its flaws, the Oculus Rift S brought down the price for VR gaming with its $399 MSRP at launch. But now that the generally superior Oculus Quest 2 can be acquired for $299 (64GB model), there's no reason not to buy this one instead.
During Facebook's Q3 2020 earnings call, the company disclosed that the Quest 2 VR headset had received five times more pre-orders than the original Oculus Quest.
"Rift S is still available for sale currently in some channels around the world, but as we announced last year, we plan to stop selling Rift S in 2021," said a Facebook representative. "Generally speaking, as channels sell out of stock, they won’t be replenished moving forward."
As of writing, there's still stock of the Oculus Rift S on the official store and a few retailers such as Walmart and Micro Center. On the other hand, Microsoft, Lenovo, and Amazon do not carry it anymore.
Among the current crop of VR headsets there's the Oculus Quest 2 obviously, but there are other alternatives like the high-end Valve Index. Sony is also known to be developing a successor to the PlayStation VR and the rumored Apple VR headset.