Oculus reveals that the Touch controller is being delayed, stating that more work is needed and that the controller is now expected to ship in the second half of 2016.
With a new year beginning, many gamers are making predictions about exactly what breakthroughs will be made over the course of 2016. Top of many lists will be the emergence of virtual reality as a viable option for gaming, with the expected launch of a number of high profile peripherals and devices, including the commercial launch of the Oculus Rift. However, users looking forward to making use of the Oculus Touch controller will have to wait a little while longer, as the device is facing a delay.
The news was revealed by Oculus via an official blog post. “On the path to perfecting Touch, we’ve decided that we need more time to release,” explained the Oculus team, before stating that the controller is now expected to launch in the second half of 2016. The Oculus Rift itself will not be affected by this delay, however, with the post reiterating that the headset is on track to ship in the first quarter of the year, and that pre-orders will be launching “very soon.”
Oculus also explained the reason for the delay to the controller, citing improvements to hardware that will not be completed on the previous schedule. The developer has apparently already made “significant advances in ergonomics,” and will be making further changes to improve the natural fit and comfort of the controller. Meanwhile, future changes will include improvements to hand pose recognition.
The company is clearly planning to bring further content in along with the release of the controller, with Oculus also teasing that it “cannot wait to show you what’s coming next.” What this means for Touch purchasers remains to be seen, but Oculus has been busy with organizing releases for its Rift headset of late. In December, the company revealed a partnership with CCP Games to include a copy of EVE: Valkyrie with every pre-ordered headset.
The Touch controller itself, which includes an intriguing design that allows separate use of two handsets, was initially revealed at E3 2015. Promising users the ability to interact with objects in virtual environments in a truly immersive way, the Touch was always going to require an extreme level of tracking precision in order to function at the required level. As such, it’s perhaps not much of a surprise to see the controller on the receiving end of a delay.
However, making sure that the Touch controller works as efficiently as possible may well give Oculus the clout to succeed in the fierce fight for VR supremacy, particularly when faced with such strong competition as PlayStation VR and the Vive headset. Details surrounding all the projects are up in the air, with the Rift headset still not on the receiving end of a retail price, aside from Palmer Luckey’s cryptic statement that it will be “cheap considering complexity.” When the Touch controller does launch, Oculus should make sure that it is worth the wait.