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Oculus Touch Review Roundup: Do The VR Motion Controllers Finally Complete The Rift?

5 December 2016, 10:19 pm EST By Chris Loterina Tech Times
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Upon its release, the Oculus Rift has been seen as one of the best virtual reality devices to date but some argue that it lacks a certain degree of completeness since players cannot touch virtual objects. The Oculus Touch motion-sensing controller is aimed to address this and it is already rolling out as we speak.

Here are some insights from early adopters as to how it fits in the entire Oculus Rift experience.

Oculus Touch And The VR Experience

In the initial round of hands-on reviews, many users stressed that, for owners of Oculus Rift, the touch controller is a must-buy in order to really experience the best of what the device has to offer.

"What you're buying really isn't a pair of controllers, you're paying for access to the next generation of virtual reality content," Tech Crunch's Lucas Matney wrote. "What Touch offers is the ability to not only observe virtual reality but to manipulate it."

Matney's point is the very same reason why Venture Beat's Jeff Grubb is saying that the device is worth the wait. It focused on the controller's function to demonstrate how it enhanced being in the Oculus virtual space.

"All of that hardware comes together to give you the sensation that your hands are really in the VR world with you," Grubb explained. "Instead of having big, meaty paws — which is how it can often feel in Vive or PSVR — Touch simulates manual dexterity."

VR Controller Design

The collective gripe of those who were able to use VR controllers for Oculus Rift and competing platforms such as HTC Vive, PSVR and Google Daydream View VR, among others is that they cannot simulate the concept of touch, an element that is seen to be missing in the entire VR experience as of the moment.

"Major motion controllers have thus far been saddled with one major problem: the need to maintain a closed fist around the vaguely cylindrical piece of plastic in your hands," Ars Technica's Kyle Orland said. "With the Touch controller, you can make a complete, natural grabbing motion, confident both that the light touch triggers under your index and ring fingers will catch the input and that the controller will stay stable."

The few outfits who feel that HTC Vive's grip controller is better, although by a fraction, agrees that the design and layout of the device is effective. For example, Fortune's Matt Peckham pointed out that the layout of the Oculus VR grip, which resembles the grip of a gun with the chamber and barrel sawed off, feels lighter and more intuitive than Vive's heavier VR wand.

Setup Process

Most reviewers noted the ease in the way the Oculus Touch controllers can be set up. The quick setup is important because it allows the player to create a nice, wide view of the entire room, a foot or two away from your desk, Orland said.

Peckham's review said that it is marginally more complicated than hooking up the Rift without Touch but is easier when compared to the setup of similar accessories for the Vive or PSVR.

Oculus Touch Controller Problems

If you are looking for things that you won't like, there are only few. Once you turn away from your monitor or simply reach behind your back, tracking could be lost because there's a big chance your body will block the camera, noted Orland.

Grubb also pointed out that most games developed for Oculus Rift today do not take full advantage of the new Touch controller.

Conclusion

Overall, initial reviews establish a dominant narrative that the new Oculus Touch controller is the best in class VR accessory. To top it all, the impressions indicate that it completes the entire VR experience since it makes the platform more engaging and interactive.

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