The Oculus Rift is severely restricted right now, requiring the use of an Xbox One controller to pretty much do anything. There’s a camera that tracks your head, but aside from that you’re sitting in a chair with most of its experiences. It’s a far cry from the Vive’s room scale VR, which uses two cameras and motion controller to allow players to actually move within their VR space. Oculus Touch – the optional add-ons to the Rift – are meant to bridge that. But they won’t come cheap.
Starting out as a rumour, UK retailer GAME has now confirmed that they will be selling the Oculus Touch controller at no less than £190, with pre-orders starting soon. It’s the first indication of price yet, with Oculus expected to make things official at the Oculus Connect 3 event next week. That takes the complete Oculus Rift package price extremely close to that of the HTC Vive – while still not being able to do the same things.
The Oculus Touch controllers are going to ship with an additional camera – a reactionary move by Oculus to the popularity (and superiority) of the Vive’s room scale VR. These camera were never designed to be used in this way, so it’s a sort of hack from Oculus’ side. It’s unlikely to deliver the same experience, but will definitely give the current Rift a lot more to work with. It helps explain the massive price too, but it’s still going to be a hard sell for Oculus.
Because when it comes down to it, the Oculus will only be a measly £20 less than the Vive – which makes the decision for one a lot less appealing. Not only can you buy a Vive right now, you’re probably going to have a better time with it. Sure the Oculus Touch controller are a little bit better from my own personal experience, but nothing beats the freedom that Vive currently gives you in a VR space. And unless Oculus has something magical up their sleeves, that isn’t going to change.