Oculus Touch Controller Delayed — “We Need More Time”

Oculus VR today announced that the unique controller for Oculus Rift won’t launch alongside the headset in Q1 as was previously the plan. In a blog post, the Facebook-owned company said it needed more time.

“On the path to perfecting Touch, we’ve decided that we need more time before release, and we’ll now be shipping Touch in the second half of 2016. Preorders will open a few months prior to launch.”

“On Touch hardware, we’ve made significant advances in ergonomics, and we’re implementing many changes that make Touch even more comfortable, reliable, and natural. We’re also implementing changes that improve hand pose recognition.”

The extent and nature of those changes was not specified.

“We’re also outputting larger numbers of pre-production runs, which means we can get a lot more Touch hardware in the hands of developers who need it,” Oculus said.

Overall, Oculus said it thinks delaying the Touch controller will lead to an “even better product.”

Oculus stressed that that Rift headset itself remains on schedule to launch in Q1 2016 (January-March). The company also teased that preorders will open “very soon,” which means we’re likely to finally learn the mysterious price point. All that we know so far is that it will be somewhere above $350.

“We appreciate your patience and promise Touch will be worth the wait,” Oculus said.

The strange-looking, circular Touch–announced during an Oculus event in June–is comprised of two controllers, one for each of your hands. Each has a traditional analog stick, two buttons, and an analog trigger, as well as haptic feedback and what Oculus calls the “hand trigger.” Touch is also capable of tracking “a set of finger poses” that work to “recognize natural hand poses like pointing, waving, or giving a thumbs-up.”

Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey describes Touch as “a pair of track controllers” that offer “hand presence, the sense of feeling as though your virtual hands are actually your real hands. This is critical to nailing the sense of overall presence. Once you have your hands involved, you really need tracking to be absolutely perfect, accurate, and low latency, or you’re going to feel like your hands are dead.”

For more on Touch, take a look at the video above.

Touch won’t be the only way to control Rift games. Through a partnership with Microsoft, every Rift will come with an Xbox One controller.

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