At the Oculus VR event this evening, Palmer Luckey pulled a Steve Jobs with a ‘one more thing…’ moment, wrapping up the show with the announcement of Oculus Touch, the dedicated virtual reality controller that will allow you to interact with objects in the virtual world.
Update: Palmer Luckey has tweeted that the Oculus Touch will be sold separately from the Rift and will have its own pre-order system, which will launch at the same time as the CV1.
Oculus Touch will be shipping H1 2016 – Preorders will open alongside the Rift.
— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) June 11, 2015
The project was codenamed ‘Half Moon’ throughout development. The controllers are designed to bring an authentic hand using experience in to virtual reality. Right now when you use a VR headset, it gets tempting to reach out in to the world around you, except you can’t interact with any of it, which is the exact problem Oculus Touch aims to fix.
There are two controllers, one for each hand, they are also wireless so you won’t have any cables getting in the way. Motion tracking is included, using the same tracking technology found in the Rift headset. Both hand controllers have a thumb stick, two buttons and a trigger, which will allow you to pick up items in the world. Palmer used a virtual gun as an example, which you could then fire .
The Xbox One controller will be included with every Rift headset as it gives developers a base to work with as they know every single Rift owner will have one. This likely means that the Oculus Touch will be sold separately and not necessarily supported in every single game.
The controllers both feature haptic feedback to allow you to feel that you are touching something when you interact with items in the virtual world. The controllers also come equipped with sensors to recognize hand gestures, such as waving.
Unfortunately, pricing was not announced, nor were pre-order dates for the Oculus Rift. However, we do know that people will be getting their first hands on experiences with these devices next week at E3 so I imagine we’ll be hearing some impressions fairly soon.
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KitGuru Says: There has been a ton of Oculus news tonight, games were revealed, we’ve finally seen the final version of the hardware and now we will also have a better way to interact with items in the virtual world with Oculus Touch. Have you guys been following the news this evening? Anything in particular get you excited for the Rift?