Oculus Touch Sold Separately - This is a problem...



In yesterday's Oculus press conference they announced two controllers alongside more detail on the Consumer Version of the Rift. The first controller is the existing wireless controller from XBox One bundled along with every Rift when it ships in Q1 2016.
The second rather awesome sounding (from the description from Palmer Luckey) wireless hand held controller called the Oculus Touch.

Here is the big BUT however. While the Rift will ship with the XBox wireless controller (not exciting) the Oculus Touch will not be included and to make matters worse will not be available upon the release of the Rift in Q1 2016. Oculus stated the Touch controllers will ship in the first half of 2016. How much is not yet announced however pre-orders for both the Rift and Touch devices will be available at the same time.

Here is where I see the potential problem with this strategy and I'll use history to explain it.
Take for example the XBox One. As standard it ships with the one Xbox controller. You can however purchase the under appreciated motion tracker system called Kinect. Kinect allows you to command your XBox with voice and gestures, make Skype calls and play motion tracking games. It really is pretty cool yet there are almost no great games that support it.
Why is that? Developers are going to spend their time developing for the lowest hardware denominator they know everyone owns. Not the device that 1-5% of the user base owns. 

Therein lies the dilemma for Oculus and other potential VR devices. You either include everything everyone needs to make awesome standardized VR but at a higher price point - or - include some items as optional extras allowing for a lower price of entry.

It is a common problem in tech and one that Oculus will need to solve where others have failed.



Steven Paterson

Based in California. I am Scottish, I like Scotch and, oh yeah, a little VR too.