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Oculus reveals consumer unit, Oculus Touch

Update: More details on fund for indies, Oculus Share and Home

Today at its first press conference, Oculus gave us a look at the final design of the retail unit, revealed a new Oculus Touch prototype controller and announced a partnership with Microsoft. It did not reveal the price, to the disappointment of many.

Jason Rubin, head of studios at Oculus, also introduced some of the games that are so crucial to the launch success of the device. Hilmar Veigar of CCP showed EVE: Valkyrie, Gunfire Games gave the audience a look at RPG Chronos and Ted Price, CEO of Insomniac announced Rift-exclusive Edge Of Nowhere.

"We worked with some of the best developers and publishers in the industry to create an incredible line-up of VR games and experiences," said Rubin.

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The Oculus Touch controller was brought to the stage as a final flourish. The Half Moon Prototype is a more naturalistic way of interacting with the virtual world, and looked to be a step beyond Valve's current VR controllers. You hold one in each hand and the inputs include integrated tracking, thumbstick, buttons and a trigger. It can recognise basic gestures like pointing and the thumbs up for social interaction. It will also give haptic feedback to increase the sense of "hand presence."

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For the retail launch, however, Oculus partnered with Microsoft and the Rift will ship with an Xbox One controller. You'll also be able to stream games (Halo, Forza, Sunset Overdrive were name-checked) from your Xbox One to the Oculus Rift where you'll play them on a virtual television.

"As someone who has been skeptical of VR, I have become a believer"

Ted Price, CEO of Insomniac

"The opportunity for us to bring our wireless controller, the one that we've spent so many years refining, to every Oculus user at launch is incredibly exciting for us and we think unlocks the potential for game developers everywhere," said Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of Xbox.

"At Microsoft we're incredibly focused on making Windows a great operating system for games and with Windows 10 partnering with Oculus making the very best operating system for Oculus Rift, we believe we will unlock the potential for millions of developers everywhere to create incredible virtual reality experiences.

"The Rift will natively work with Windows 10 to make it easy to set up, jump in and have incredible VR experiences from day one."

Microsoft also released a video explaining more about the partnership.

Update

Oculus also updated attendees on a few other changes to the Oculus ecosystem. Anna Sweet, head of developer strategy at Oculus, announced that the company was committing $10 million to indie developers working with Oculus Rift.

"I believe virtual reality is going to inspire a whole new generation of game developers," said Sweet.

"At Oculus we're committed to building the best platform for VR games. That means supporting established studios, small independent teams and everyone inbetween and thousands of developers all over the world have already joined us on this journey.

She also explained the Oculus had worked with Unity and Epic to make sure creating for the Rift was as easy as possible.

Oculus Share, the app store set up that developers can use to share content for the Rift, is being revamped over the next couples of months, no doubt in readiness for the retail launch of the headset.

Nate Mitchell, VP of product at Oculus, took his turn on the stage to demonstrate Oculus Home, the user UI for the headset. Crucially it allows gamers to do as much as possible, trying and buying games, finding friends and joining their games all within the headset.

"Home is your portal to everything Oculus and it brings all your Rift games together in one place. This makes it the perfect jumping off point for everything in the Oculus universe," he explained.

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Latest comments (12)

Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises2 years ago
Exciting! But why are they showing off these cool new controllers if the retail version is just going to ship with an ordinary Xbox One controller?
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Marty Howe Director, Figurehead Studios2 years ago
lol. The new controllers aren't ready yet, they said in the press conference its coming īn future"
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 2 years ago
If the Xbox controller comes with every package, then that will be the controller every game will fully support, while the other controller will be the gimmicky one only a few people will use. In the end, it is beneficial for all. Oculus gets a great controller, Microsoft gets to be the good guys in the eye of the players who get the controller they probably want in the first place.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Klaus Preisinger on 12th June 2015 8:17am

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Show all comments (12)
David Canela Game & Audio Designer 2 years ago
Nowadays many pc gamers already have controllers. why would they want another one with minor improvements forced on them (potentially making the Rift more expensive)? I'd understand bundling a VR controller, but a regular gamepad seems like a weird move to me.
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Mario Tommadich Software QA Analyst, Indie Game Developer 2 years ago
My Xbox 360 wired Controller has reached the end of it's lifespan and I'm actually glad to get a Rift + XOne Controller bundle soon :)
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 2 years ago
It can recognise basic gestures like pointing and the thumbs up for social interaction.

Yikes. Can you give someone the finger as well? Hey, to some gamers and other folks who live oinline "social interaction" these days means someone gets flipped a bird every once in a while. Of course, watch some really dedicated online fools try to find someone to sue for that new controller limiting their "freedom of speech" because you can't make any rude gestures with it. ;D
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Julian Williams Founder, WIZDISH Ltd.2 years ago
I've obviously missed some announcements because to me the headline for this is "Oculus partners with Microsoft!" or even "Kudo without sunglasses!".
After Oculus seemed to split from Valve I was worried for them but bundling the XBox One controller with every Rift is significant (even if only symbolic at this stage) as is having all XBox games playable on the Rift. After what Palmer said about Kinect a couple of years back I'm surprised they're even talking :) It's now a much more level playing field.
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Marty Howe Director, Figurehead Studios2 years ago
its good for developers too, we're accustomed to designing games that adhere to that Xbox Controller, no time wasted on trying to implement a new kind of input device.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Marty Howe on 13th June 2015 11:13am

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Julian Williams Founder, WIZDISH Ltd.2 years ago
Good point. Custom code for demos is ok but ideally peripherals should be able to work without their own SDK.

For anyone who missed it the Oculus Touch reveal is worth watching https://youtu.be/cfpqXj9gtBs

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Julian Williams on 13th June 2015 2:28pm

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Paul Shirley Programmers 2 years ago
@Julian Williams: "having all XBox games playable on the Rift."

Did they say that? Displaying on the virtual screen is not VR support. While Win10 suggests native support for a future XB1 firmware, the hardware is far short of recommended for Rift - it's a box that struggles with mono 1080p @60Hz. I'm reading this as another attempt to use gaming to sell Microsofts next OS to PC users.
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Julian Williams Founder, WIZDISH Ltd.2 years ago
@Paul

Yes, at 48". I replayed it more than once to check I heard right. But as you say that isn't for VR games, it's a version of the virtual cinema (thought up by a Norwegian Rift enthusiast on mtbs3d I think?) so you can feel that you are playing XBox games on a giant screen. While a virtual cinema is actually cooler when you try it than it may sound I suspect most gamers won't want to limit the resolution of their games.

Microsoft have just announced that they are also going to partner with Valve VR http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/15/8783709/microsoft-valve-vr-windows-10-gaming

Its hard to keep up with all this :)
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 2 years ago
because to me the headline for this is "Oculus partners with Microsoft!"
Had it been Sony's controller than that would have been the headline("Oculus partners with Sony") but as usual the media continues trying to downplay Microsoft's significance.
or even "Kudo without sunglasses!".
I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed that. He looks so....different.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 15th June 2015 10:25pm

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