Trending: Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch space venture puts monster plane through first taxi test

oculus riftThe Oculus Rift has been in the prototype phase for three years, but its final form was unveiled today alongside a new prototype controller made specifically for virtual reality.

The consumer version of the Oculus Rift is a balanced, lightweight headset wrapped in a grey fabric. The new hardware comes with a slider to customize the distance between each lens, as well as removable headphones, so audiophiles can use high-end cans. It will ship with a desktop tracker and an Xbox One controller in early 2016.

The prototype Half Moon controllers for Oculus Touch
The prototype Half Moon controllers for Oculus Touch

However, the company also introduced a set of new controllers at today’s press event. The Oculus Touch system will allow people to more naturally interact in a virtual reality. The current prototype, dubbed the Half Moon, was introduced by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey.

A stiff band wraps around the outside of a Wii nunchuck-like grip to sense finger movements, while two triggers, two buttons and an analog stick sit on the grip itself. The controller are wireless, provide haptic feedback to feel what you’re touching, and can be tracked with the same system that tracks the Rift.

Besides tracking your fingers to tell if you’re pointing or giving a thumbs up, the controller’s second trigger also allows you to grip virtual objects. Positioned under your middle finger, the trigger is activated by closing your hand. As Luckey mentioned in the demo, this would allow you to pick up a virtual gun and shoot it in a natural, fluid motion.

The joysticks will likely be used by developers for movement control, while buttons can be used for actions just like on standard game pads. The new controllers are still in the prototype stage, but will be available for testing at E3 next week.

Consumer pricing for the Oculus Rift hasn’t yet been announced.

The Facebook-owned company did announce several launch games, including first-person space shooter Eve Valkyrie and third-person snow adventure game Edge of Nowhere from Insomniac. Here’s a trailer for Oculus’ E3 presence:

 

 

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline

Comments

Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.