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Oculus Touch – Virtual reality a touch little closer?

 

TECH – We can’t deny the fact that the virtual reality is living its renaissance: after Nintendo has flopped big time with Virtual Boy in the middle of the nineties, everyone took time away and learnt from the mistakes. While Sony is done with Project Morpheus and is waiting for its games to be done, Oculus has prepared an extra accessory to its Rift… and it’s really promising at first sight!

 

Although the Oculus Rift will come with a wireless Xbox One controller by default, the Oculus Touch is going to be a much more natural solution for the controls. Its prototype is called „Half Moon” and each hand of ours will get one to use. One is the mirror of the other, so if you are left handed, you will not be experiencing any sort of handicap because of this, you will be in full control, whether you are left-, or right handed. There is no preference, same „sides” are treated equally.

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Half Moon has an analogue stick, two buttons, an analogue trigger and a „hand trigger”. According to Oculus, you have the skill to pick up a virtual pistol and pull the trigger with it right off the bat. Seeing how the Half Moon is wireless, there’s not going to be any chance of ending up buried under a ton of wires after an intense session in the games. What could make the Touch is promising, is the matrix of sensors built all around in the Half Moons – this will sense some hand gestures and positions.

Pointing at a thing, waving, or a thumbs up will get recognized. This has huge potential, but for this, games will have to have the Touch features perfectly implemented within them, otherwise the Touch would be a missing boat. This is actually a reason why the public can get the Oculus Touch a tad later than it seems it might be released…

The question is: how hard – or easy – is it to get used to the controls via the Touch? Although it’s admittely looking – and feeling – weird initially, but actually, in a few minutes, it’s turning into somewhat an intuition to control the games this way. Another question arises too: will Sony pull out a similar solution to this for their Project Morpheus? There would be potential in developing a similar device, and if the Touch ends up being a critical success, Sony probably don’t want to be a step behind. So we’re saying that it’s unlikely that Sony will skip this chance.

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In fact, we say that we would definitely appreciate it, as this control scheme and device would actually bring the players one step closer to the virtual reality in its entirety. It would feel much more natural than to simply grab a DualShock 4 controller and play the virtual reality games that way, while the Project Morpheus headset is on us.

The Oculus Touch will get a development kit version out to a bigger audience in the first half of 2016. The public will have to wait a lot then to actually get a hold of one. The reasoning actually makes sense: the developers will need time to get used to the Touch, and then be able to implement its functions and possibilities into their games. We find it a great idea, but now, the ball is on Sony’s field!

-V-

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