Oculus announces new Touch motion controllers and room-scale VR



Touch controllers
Oculus’s new Oculus Touch controllers.

Facebook’s (FB) Oculus is rolling out a couple of new peripherals that the company hopes will pull you even further into its virtual reality worlds. Announced at Oculus’ Oculus Connect 3 conference, the products include the VR maker’s long-awaited Oculus Touch controllers, as well as a standalone head-tracking camera that will allow for full room-scale VR with the Rift.

The Oculus Touch controllers, which cost $200 and are available for preorder Oct. 10 and go on sale Dec. 6, will allow you to physically manipulate objects in virtual spaces using your own hand movements. Twist your wrist in real-life and your virtual hand will twist in whatever game you’re playing.

The Oculus Touch controllers are similar in function to the touch controls available with HTC’s Vive, though Oculus’ offerings, which I’ve used in the past, fit more comfortably in your hands.

Oculus has also announced that it will begin selling an additional $80 head-tracking camera for the Rift that will allow the system to track your physical movements around a set area in your room, otherwise known as room-scale VR.

The announcements bring Facebook’s Oculus Rift closer to parity with Valve and HTC’s Vive virtual reality system, which already comes with both touch controllers and room-scale functionality.

All totaled, the Rift’s camera and controllers bring the price of the VR system to $880, that’s $80 more expensive than the Vive. Of course, you can still buy the Rift for $600 without the controllers and camera, but you’ll likely end up missing out on certain apps and games.

In addition to its new camera and touch controllers, Oculus announced that the headset now works with Oculus-ready PCs starting at $500. That’s a heck of a price drop from the original $1,000 and higher Oculus-ready PCs the company announced when the headset launched back in March.

Of the three VR headsets currently available, Sony’s PlayStation VR is the least expensive at $500 for a bundle including the PSVR, PlayStation Camera and Move motion controllers. The HTC Vive is now the second least expensive at $800, while the Rift is now the priciest, when fully outfitted with motion controllers and a third camera, at $880.

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