Oculus explains on Touch Controller Delays

Ever wonder why Oculus still does not have their Touch controllers to compete with the HTC Vive? Here’s why according to Oculus themselves.

oculus touch controller delays

Oculus is currently now getting behind HTC Vive in terms of functionality. One main factor is obviously their lack of handheld controllers suited for the Oculus Rift headset. Rift users try to get by with Oculus exclusive games using an Xbox One controller. And behind this delay, Oculus have something to say.

Oculus says they were just biding their time. Yes, they could have shipped the Touch controllers when they first started selling the Oculus Rift developement kit, but they waited for the right time. And ever since, the waiting game might end up in the second half of 2016.

And the company went so far as to claim that despite all this late shipments, the technology and hardware could have gone out their factory lines to more consumers on the day the controllers were debuted to the public.

“It was possible for us to launch the first Touch device when we showed it, and everyone said ‘this is awesome,’ we could have shipped it,” said Jason Rubin, Head of Content at Oculus.

“[If we launched Touch with the Rift] there would have been a bunch of demos and a few good titles (like Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption) […] we wanted to give our developers enough time to really create a launch line up, a good slate of titles that would last hours as opposed to minutes of enjoyment, and we think that that takes time. So more than tweaking the hardware, we wanted to give the software some time.”

The hardware was ready. It was well founded but the company thought that it might be better to release it when software is as equally ready to support the controllers. Though this may sound like some lame excuse, some companies just have quality assurance that lets products go into production or not.

And to be fair with Oculus, their Touch design have seen some incremental development in both ergonomics and performance while the software developers are hard at work alongside this enhancements. The button placements are tested to fit any use case scenarios. And mind that the latest version may well end up as the final version for consumers. This version includes better tracking performance and range.

“Developers are really happy with what they’ve got, and we didn’t want to release it until we were happy with the ergonomics, every button was in the right place, everything was perfect,” Rubin said.

And with their regular releases, over 5000 development kits for the Touch controllers will be sent out to select developers before the launch date. Launch date would have to be the last quarter of the year. Now that’s the most specific date Oculus as of the moment but it will most likely be announced in the forthcoming Oculus Connect developer conference on October.