Oculus VR surprised the virtual reality (VR) community back in June 2015 with the reveal of its anticipated input solution for the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD). The company announced Oculus Touch, a pair of position-tracked controllers that feature analogue sticks, triggers, buttons and are even capable of gesture recognition. The kit will be arriving in H1 of 2016, putting it just behind the launch of the Oculus Rift itself in Q1 2016. According to Oculus VR itself, fans will see developers ‘master’ the controller in ‘1 – 2 years’.
CEO Brendan Iribe said as much to Gamasutra in an interview from this month’s Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. “You’re going to see a lot of Touch content showing up, probably more like middle of next year to late next year,” Iribe stated. “Developers need time to work with it; it takes 6-12-24 months to work with a new input device and build and ship a game for it. These things take time. We believe that, within about 1-2 years, developers will start to master Touch. And then we’ll see where we go with that second generation of Rift packages.”
This time frame makes sense. Most of the titles that Oculus VR itself has revealed for the Oculus Rift so far are third-person experiences that rely on a gamepad for control. Releasing these experiences first will give VR fans content while they wait for the release of the new controllers. Select developers are said to already be working with Oculus Touch and these are the ones that will likely provide the best implementation early on.
Currently Oculus VR has only showcased Oculus Touch with a tech demo known as The Toybox. Other developers have expressed interest in the kit, but are yet to commit to developing for it.
VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus Touch closely, reporting back with the latest updates on it.