Today at Oculus Connect 3 in San Jose, Oculus announced a release date and price for their Oculus Touch motion controllers. A pair of Touch controllers will run $199, although if users want to take advantage of room-scale VR, they will have to purchase an additional Oculus sensor for $79. The Oculus Touch will be released on December 6, with pre-orders opening later this month, on October 10.
The Touch controllers were first revealed at E3 2015 as the company’s answer to the motion controllers included with the HTC Vive. However, the Vive currently retails for $799, with two motion controllers and two sensors included. Unless Oculus announces a room-scale bundle, the Oculus Rift is currently the more expensive option, charging users $879 for room-scale VR. The Oculus Touch controllers will be bundled with The Unspoken, from Insomniac Games, and VR Sport Challenge.
Oculus also announced that the Rift’s minimum specifications had been lowered. The previous specs required an Nvidia 970, an Intel i5-4950, and two USB 3.0 ports, but have since been lowered to a Nvidia 960, an Intel i3-6100, and one USB 3.0 port & two USB 2.0 ports, respectively. The system’s 8 GB of RAM and HDMI 1.3 video output requirements currently remain unchanged. However, the Oculus Rift now requires Windows 8, as opposed to the previous Windows 7 requirement. According to Oculus CEO Brendan Irbe, the change is due to “Asynchronous Spacewarp” technology, which creates a disparity between the rendered framerate and the displayed framerate.
Oculus also announced plans for a headset that would act as a stopgap between the portable Gear VR headset and the full-on Oculus Rift. A prototype of the headset shown at Oculus Connect bore a resemblance to the current desktop unit, except sans connective wires. “We have a demo, but we don’t have a product ready yet,” said Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
This announcement comes a week before the release of PlayStation VR, a room-scale VR system for the PlayStation 4, set to release for $499 with motion controllers and a PlayStation Camera. Google also announced Daydream View, a $79 VR headset that works wirelessly with Android phones, as opposed to Google Cardboard and Gear VR, which requires a phone to be physically inserted into the headset.