The Oculus Rift may have been available for some time now, but we've only been playing with half a toy. Oculus Touch, the pair of wireless controllers that work with the Rift, still aren't available to buy – but they will be very soon.
They've been a long time coming – we first tested them well over a year ago – and HTC already has its own version out there with the Vive. But Touch is finally within, well, touching distance. Oculus has announced that Touch will launch
The question is, do you need them? What games will work with Touch? And can you afford to splash out for them? Read on to find out.
Oculus Touch: How it compares to Vive
Unlike the HTC Vive's wand-like controls, the Oculus Touch has a more shapely design that fits around around your hand. It'll make it feel less like you're waving two sticks in the air, and while we have little problem with the Vive's controllers, the Touch controllers just feel more ergonomic from our time spent with them in VR. They're also more intuitive in mirroring your natural hand gestures, helping to blend the real and virtual worlds together.
The button layout of the Touch is also noticeably different, using a thumbstick and two control buttons where the Vive uses a round trackpad-style button system. It makes the Touch more akin to a classic controller in that respect, but which you prefer will come down to personal preference – and of course how good the games and experiences are.
Essential reading: The best Oculus Rift games
The Vive's lighthouse tracking tech has been a much-highlighted feature by HTC and Valve, and one of our favourite aspects of the kit. Oculus has now confirmed that Touch will support room-scale VR. Hooray!
It's certainly been preparing things on the software side – an update in July added support for four tracking sensors, paving the way for better room-scale technology.
The arrival of the Touch controllers should mark the point Oculus gets serious about room-scale tech, which might mean these will go from luxury extra to an essential part of the Oculus experience.
Oculus Touch: What can I play with it?
There will be 35 Touch titles available at launch, the company confirmed at Oculus Connect 3, with "hundreds" more titles in development. We've tried a few of the games, and so far we love the way games are using Touch.
A great demonstration of how Oculus Touch is the Toybox demo, which you can see in the video above. From firing slingshots to playing ping pong, to building blocks and even playing with a puppet, the demo shows off how many different gestures will work with Touch.
You can even give your friends a thumbs-up. It's what VR was made for.
Vive favourites Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption will also be coming to Oculus for the launch of Touch, which we're especially pleased to hear. Minecraft will be getting the Touch love on 18 October, Microsoft has confirmed, while Superhot and
Oculus Touch: Price and release date
Oculus Touch will be available on 6 December with pre-orders now open. As for the price, they're not cheap: $199.
But we were mentally prepared, with UK retailer Game revealing the price for the pair of controllers on advertising spotted by Engadget reporter Nick Summers.
It's more expensive that many hoped for, us included. With the Rift already costing $599.99, it makes the whole package a fair chunk more expensive. What's more, to make use of the room scale tech, you'll need to buy a third sensor (not included) for $79.
It's also a bit of an open goal for Sony: PlayStation VR will cost $399 when it goes on sale on 13 October – although you'll need to cough up for some accessories to get it working properly; namely a PlayStation Camera and a pair of PlayStation Move controllers. The overall PS VR cost won't reach Rift or Vive levels of expense though.
Will you be getting yourself the Oculus Touch controllers? Excited for any games in particular? Or are they just too expensive?
Shop for VR headsets on Amazon
Wareable may get a commission