E3 2015: Oculus Rift Partners With Xbox, Prototypes Oculus Touch


Today’s presentation of the Oculus Rift started off slow, but came with plenty of surprises. The Oculus team seems just about ready for their premiere VR device to make its way into the hands of the general gaming public, and it looks like we’ll be seeing quite a bit of the device at E3 next week, too.

If you missed the broadcast, you can rewatch it at the official Twitch channel.

CEO Brendan Iribe announced during the press conference that Oculus will be teaming up with Microsoft and Xbox. Each Oculus will be shipped with an Xbox One controller with a wireless adapter for the PC, and the Oculus Rift will be compatible with Windows 10. Xbox One games will be streamable to the Rift as well, though it looks so far to be nothing more than a glorified cinematic experience–face tracking is included to adjust the camera, but otherwise the game is just closer to your face.

But that’s just for already-existing Xbox games. There looks to be plenty of upcoming games that will rely on the Oculus to provide an authentic VR experience. Games announced today included a snowy-looking game entitled Edge of Nowhere, from Insomniac, the creators of Ratchet & Clank; and Chronos, an RPG set in a labyrinth that involves character aging as a vital mechanic in its gameplay. Chronos is by Gunfire Games, a studio made up of Vigil Games veterans (Darksiders).

Oculus also intends to support indie developers. Using Oculus Share, developers can upload demos of games to the community, and Oculus has offered $10 million to support indie developers making games for the Oculus. Hopefully we’ll see more of who and what is involved there sometime soon.

Finally, the presentation wrapped up with a prototype of a device called the Oculus Touch. These are two controllers, one for each hand, that allow the player to “reach” into the virtual world and control things with his or her hands.

The Oculus Touch is still in development, but is known to feature hand tracking, with a thumb stuck, two buttons, and a trigger. Sensors on the Oculus Touch are capable of detecting certain motions (such as pointing) for increased communication. Their goal is to eventually allow users to bring their real hands into virtual reality seamlessly, and to really believe the hands are theirs.

The Oculus Rift is slated for release in Q1 of 2016, though the final consumer price is still unknown. Pre-orders will begin in late 2015.

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