Touch, the hand-held VR controller from Oculus VR, will not be shipping together with the first Oculus Rift units, which are expected to ship in the first quarter of 2016. Instead, Touch will become available in the second half of 2016.
“On the path to perfecting Touch, we’ve decided that we need more time before release, and we’ll now be shipping Touch in the second half of 2016. Pre-orders will open a few months prior to launch,” the company said in a blog post.
Oculus says the Touch has been delayed due to the company making “significant advances” in ergonomics, as well as “implementing many changes that make Touch even more comfortable, reliable, and natural.” Hand pose recognition will also be improved, the company claims.
Oculus made the announcement on Dec. 31, likely hoping that New Year chatter will somewhat ease the painful sting of yet another delay. The company’s primary product, the virtual reality headset Rift, was originally scheduled to be released in 2015, but was pushed into 2016, with the exact shipping date and price still unknown.
While Touch is not necessary for playing games with the Rift, which will ship with an Xbox One controller at launch, it does make the virtual reality experience far more immersive, recognizing the wearer’s hand gestures such as making a fist or pointing at someone.
HTC’s Vive virtual reality headset, whose launch date was recently pushed to April 2016, is expected to be shipped with handheld controllers. Barring further delays from either companies, the Rift will be first to arrive into the hands of consumers, but Vive should offer a more immersive VR experience.