Oculus announces “Touch” VR controller delay to second half of 2016

Oculus logoWant to simulate waving your hands around in virtual space? 2016 should be a very good year for you, with burgeoning VR hardware makers HTC, Oculus, and Sony all gearing up to launch motion-tracked VR options by way of handheld controllers. However, in the case of Oculus, their offering received a delay on Thursday, just before this year's New Year's Eve ball drop.

The Oculus Touch system, which will add two handheld controllers and an additional motion-tracking camera to the upcoming Oculus VR headset, will now launch in "the second half of 2016," according to an official announcement. This news pushes back the controllers' originally announced—and equally vague—window of 2016's "first half."

Oculus' announcement says the delay will enable "advances in ergonomics" and "improved hand-pose recognition." Ars got the chance to try out an early Touch controller demo in June, which showed off the system's ability to notice whether our fingers within the controller were extended or clenched, enabling poses such as fists and finger points, but the recognition did feel somewhat wonky in the system's early state.

Oculus announces “Touch” VR controller delay to second half of 2016

What the delay doesn't change is the fact that Oculus Touch was never announced as an option alongside the default Oculus headset's retail launch, which the company insists is still on track for a Q1 2016 retail release. This means Oculus game makers will have to expect a fractured userbase for the motion-tracked option, as opposed to the HTC Vive coming with a pair of motion-tracked wands by default. Oculus's headset will instead ship with a PC-compatible Xbox One controller. In spite of HTC delaying its Vive system to an April 2016 retail launch, today's news means the company will still likely be first to market with a "room-scale" VR option.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: technologies

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