Oculus Reveals Its Unusual Rift VR Controller, Oculus Touch

Check out the strange-looking new input method being designed as an Xbox One controller alternative.

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While it will offer an Xbox One controller as the standard input method that comes with every Oculus Rift VR headset, Oculus also has a brand-new controller it unveiled today: the Oculus Touch.

The strange-looking, circular Touch is comprised of two controllers, one for each of your hands. Each has a traditional analog stick, two buttons, and an analog trigger, as well as haptic feedback and what Oculus calls the "hand trigger." Touch is also capable of tracking "a set of finger poses" that work to "recognize natural hand poses like pointing, waving, or giving a thumbs-up," Oculus founder Palmer Luckey explained during today's press conference.

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"Developers have been working with gamepads for years in VR; they've proven you can make really compelling content with a gamepad," Luckey said.

"Brendan [Iribe, Oculus CEO] talked about how excited we are to include the Xbox One controller as part of the Rift, to make sure that developers have something that they can target, that they know every single person who has the Rift will have. Something that they can design their game to work very effectively with. And the Xbox One controller is a key part of the current virtual reality puzzle."

Luckey described the Xbox One controller as the best way to play certain games, like Lucky's Tale and Eve Valkyrie, but he then brought up the subject of future games, which will need a different type of input device.

Oculus is hoping the Touch will be exactly that. "These are going to take virtual reality gaming to the next level," Luckey said.

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He describes Touch as "a pair of track controllers" that offer "hand presence, the sense of feeling as though your virtual hands are actually your real hands. This is critical to nailing the sense of overall presence. Once you have your hands involved, you really need tracking to be absolutely perfect, accurate, and low latency, or you're going to feel like your hands are dead."

Luckey went on to talk about offering a controller that allows you to do things like pick up, fire, and throw away a gun naturally, as well give a thumbs-up or wave.

"We want to enable a lot of different types of virtual reality experiences: entirely new, VR experiences; genres of games that have been around for decades that are being brought into VR; hybrid experiences that incorporate the best of traditional input with the best of Virtual reality input."

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We'll have more on Oculus Rift and the Oculus Touch as we approach E3 next week.

More stories from today's Oculus Rift E3 event follow below:

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