This article titled “Oculus virtual reality controller plans: Xbox One gamepad and Oculus Touch” was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Thursday 11th June 2015 18.27 UTC
Facebook subsidiary Oculus has struck a partnership with Microsoft to bundle an Xbox One controller with its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, when it goes on sale in early 2016.
However, Oculus has also developed its own pair of Oculus Touch controllers designed to be worn on the hands, enabling people to “see” their hands in front of them in VR games and virtual worlds, as well as to manipulate virtual objects.
At an event in San Francisco, Oculus also showcased several developers making games for the Rift, while talking up its capabilities in bullish rhetoric that inflated, rather than dampened down, the hype around virtual reality.
“VR allows us to experience anything, anywhere… This is going to change everything,” said Brendan Iribe, chief executive of Oculus, which Facebook bought for bn in 2014. “It is a fundamental shift: a paradigm change. And it all begins now.”
Iribe said that Oculus had tested a range of controllers before settling on the Xbox One gamepad, which is part of a wider partnership with Microsoft that will make the Rift easy to set up on PCs running its Windows 10 operating system.
“We wanted a device that developers and gamers understood, one that they’re familiar with… one that’s really robust, well made,” said Iribe.
The company went on to reveal Oculus Touch, a pair of wireless, hand-worn controllers that will go on sale in the first half of 2016 – so likely a bit later than the main headset – and which will enable a wider range of physical gestures within virtual games and worlds.
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey showed off the controllers, claiming they’ll be used for everything from picking up and shooting guns to waving, pointing and “giving a thumbs up” while playing.
Among the other announcements at the event, which took place a few days before the E3 games industry show in Los Angeles, were plans for software called Oculus Home that will help people launch the games and apps they own, as well as browsing and buying new ones.
Oculus has also set aside a m fund to invest in Oculus Rift games made by independent developers. At the event, partners including CCP, which is making its EVE: Valkyrie game for the headset, showed off short demonstrations of their work.
“This isn’t science fiction: this is reality, and it’s happening today,” said Luckey. What wasn’t happening today, however, was any announcement of the price of the Oculus Rift, although Iribe has previously said that the cost of the headset plus a PC powerful enough to run it will be around ,500.
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Tags: Article, Digital media, Facebook, Gadgets, Games, Media, News, Stuart Dredge, Technology, Virtual reality
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