Oculus Rift Headset, Oculus Touch Controller Coming in 1Q 2016

Facebook acquired immersive virtual reality technology company Oculus VR last July, and Oculus held its coming-out party at E3 in Los Angeles Thursday.

Facebook acquired immersive virtual reality technology company Oculus VR last July, and Oculus held its coming-out party at E3 in Los Angeles Thursday.

Oculus introduced its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and its Oculus Touch controller, both of which will ship to consumers in the first quarter of 2016.

The company also announced that every Oculus Rift will be shipped with a wireless Xbox One controller (at least Microsoft hasn’t fallen out of favor with all of Facebook), introduced the first batch of games for the Oculus Rift and pledged $10 million in support for developers.

OculusRift

Oculus detailed features of the Oculus Rift in a blog post:

The Rift uses custom display and optics technology designed specifically for VR featuring two AMOLED displays with low-persistence. The technology enables incredible visual clarity as you explore virtual worlds with the Rift.

The headset is tracked by our IR LED constellation tracking system for precise, low latency 360-degree orientation and position tracking.

The Rift features an integrated VR audio system designed to convince your ears that you’re truly there. The integrated headphones are also removable in case you want to use your own.

It also incorporates a high-quality internal microphone for social experiences.

OculusRiftTopView

The Rift has an advanced ergonomic design improves the headset’s overall balance and stability. This strap architecture offloads the overall weight, allowing the Rift to rest comfortably.

It’s as easy to put as slipping on a baseball cap. Once you’re in, simply adjust the straps to fit you.

OculusRiftBackView

Further, we’ve included a mechanism that allows you to adjust the distance between the lenses for the most comfortable visual experience. You can also remove the facial interface to replace the soft foam, and we’ve improved the form factor to better accommodate glasses.

Developers wanted an input device that was robust and versatile enough to enable next-generation games and experiences in this first generation of VR. As a result of that collaboration, we’ve decided to incorporate one of the best gamepads available, a wireless Xbox One controller, with every Rift.

OculusRiftXBoxController

The company also described its own new controller, the Oculus Touch:

Oculus Touch is a pair of tracked controllers that deliver hand presence–the sensation of feeling as though your virtual hands are actually your own. Touch will let people take their virtual reality experiences further than ever before by unlocking new interactions.

Today, we’re showing off a feature prototype for Oculus Touch at E3 called “Half Moon.” There are two controllers, one for each hand. They’re mirror images of each other, like your own hands.

Each Half Moon controller has a traditional analog thumb stick, two buttons and an analog trigger. There’s also an input mechanism that we call the “hand trigger.” Imagine using this trigger to pick up a virtual gun, then using your index finger to fire it.

They’re wireless so that you can move and interact with the virtual world freely, and they use the same IR LED constellation tracking system we use in the Rift for precise, low-latency, 6-DOF tracking.

The Half Moon prototype includes haptics that developers can use to deliver feedback when interacting with objects in the virtual world.

Finally, Half Moon can detect a set of finger poses using a matrix of sensors mounted throughout the device, which allows the controller to recognize a set of communicative hand poses like pointing, waving, and giving a thumbs-up.

OculusTouch OculusTouchHands

Oculus showcased the following games for the Oculus Rift at E3 Thursday:

Other Oculus Rift-compatible games include:

  • Damaged Core, High Voltage
  • VR Sports: Challenge, Sanzaru
  • Esper, Coatsink
  • AirMech, Carbon
  • Lucky’s Tale, Playful

Finally, Oculus head of developer strategy Anna Sweet announced at E3 that the company will invest more than $10 million in “accelerating and supporting” developers in order to ensure the creation of “one-of-a-kind, independent games” for Oculus Rift.

Gamers: Thoughts?