Oculus Rift owners will now be able to enjoy the same experiences that HTC Vive users have been partaking in for the better part of this year.
Pre-orders for the Oculus Touch go live on at noon PT on Monday, giving users motion controls, and finally putting it on par with the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR.
Arguably the first to market with a virtual reality headset, Oculus will be last to offer motion controls. Since launch, gamers have had to stick to Xbox One controllers to experience gaming in VR. While Oculus has had Touch in the works for a while, it has been at a disadvantage when compared to Vive. HTC bundled motion controls with the Vive at launch, and that is one possible reason why Steam users have been willing to spend the extra $200 on it over Oculus.
The major distinction between Oculus Touch and the HTC Vive will be how both work with motion. Vive uses full-room tracking, meaning users actually have to install sensors that are constantly tracking movements in a space. Touch, on the other hand, just uses cameras mounted in front of the users. While this gives tremendous tracking when the user is looking directly forward, it can be problematic when users are facing another direction. Because motion-based VR has people moving all around to interact with the environment, users can be lost in a separate world with paths that disorient where they are in actual space.
Now that all three major VR headset manufacturers will have some sort of motion tracking, it will be interesting to see where users gravitate. Because PlayStation VR retails for $400-$500, it is the most economical offering. Vive, on the other hand, has the most technology, and is therefore the most expensive. Oculus, is caught right in the middle, not the cheapest, nor the most technical.
Oculus Touch pre-orders will retail for $199, and begin shipping on December 6.