Oculus buys Xbox 360 controller design team

Seattle-based Carbon Design Group has been acquired by the VR company

Oculus VR continues to make moves to bolster its team and expertise. Following recent key hires like Jason Rubin, former Valve biz dev man Jason Holtman, former Halo art director Kenneth Scott, and Google Glass staffer Adrian Wong, the Facebook-owned company has just agreed to terms to acquire Carbon Design Group, which helped design - among other things - the much praised Xbox 360 controller. The purchase price and terms were not disclosed; the deal is expected to close this summer.

In a blog post announcing the purchase of the Seattle studio, Oculus mentioned that the company has actually been working with Carbon on multiple unannounced projects for nearly a year now. "As part of the deal, the team will officially become a key component of the product engineering group at Oculus, operating from the Carbon studio in the Seattle area. They'll also be working closely with the Oculus R&D team based out of Redmond," Oculus said.

"This is an entirely open product category. With consumer VR at its inception, the physical architectures are still unknown - We're on the cutting edge of defining how virtual reality looks, feels, and functions. We're incredibly excited to be part of the team and we're looking forward to helping design the future," added Peter Bristol, Creative Director at Carbon Design.

It's unclear exactly what Carbon will be and has been working on with Oculus, but given that the different Rift headset versions we've tried are not yet consumer-ready, it's likely that Carbon is helping Oculus get the final consumer design just right before the company prepares to take the product to market. When that will happen is largely dependent on the company securing more made-for-VR content, as CEO Brendan Iribe explained to GamesIndustry International at E3.

More stories

Meta's AR/VR segment made 2.2bn in 2021 despite record operating loss

Reality Labs' operating loss amounted to $10.2 billion last year

By Marie Dealessandri

Oculus halts headset sales in Germany

Facebook says it's a temporary move and will continue supporting existing owners in the country

By Brendan Sinclair

Latest comments (8)

Steve Wetz Reviewer/Assistant Editor, Gamer's Glance7 years ago
I think this is a great development. One of the most jarring things about the Rift is how you control movement (they've obviously got viewing nailed but that's only half the equation). Control VR is a step in the right direction, albeit an expensive one. Maybe Carbon can do better.

Even if their only contribution is getting the consumer version out quicker, the purchase will have been worth it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Steve Wetz on 24th June 2014 11:37pm

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
James Boulton Owner, Retro HQ Ltd7 years ago
What they need to come up with is an eXistenZ style gameport body mod. Cyberpunk isn't far away. :)
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
James Boulton Owner, Retro HQ Ltd7 years ago
What you need is a port with retaining screws... just make sure someone doesn't kick the cable out.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (8)
Rafa Ferrer Localisation Manager, Red Comet Media7 years ago
I was hoping for serious comments, but here you are, fantasizing about controller cables going into your body...

...when the most realistic and sensible solution is obviously sticking a Bluetooth chip into your cortex.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
James Boulton Owner, Retro HQ Ltd7 years ago
A high frequency EMF device mounted in your brain?! Now you're just being silly. :)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Kevin Strange Developer Relations Account Manager, AMD7 years ago
Still waiting for the Snow Crash Metaverse level of emersion - to be beamed into my eyeballs and track my full body movement, just very excited that Oculus are making the steps to get us there, I have seen some amazing games on the Rift during my developer visits, if the consumer version is even better than DK2 we are in for a hell of a treat :-)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Watch for FB/Oculus to acquire a nanotechnology outfit next!
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Petter Solberg Freelance Writer & Artist, 7 years ago
I would love that, but my fear is, when they ever develop a plug that goes right into your body they would use something like SCART to make the connection :) And then all psychedelic experience will come from plugs that constantly loose contact with the socket, while I am moving.
Or they could just make a double knot around the ribs with an extension cord. DIY style

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Petter Solberg on 27th June 2014 6:31pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.