We know Jack, do you?
Oculus set the stage today, ready to move into the future. With a clearly missing Palmer Luckey, Oculus paved the way for their next hardware step, a handheld Oculus Touch. Not dissimilar to a Wiimote on steroids, the Oculus Touch will act as your hands in virtual space, giving you individual, one-to-one, movement. This will allow picking up items, throwing said items, shooting guns, and whatever else developers deem immersive and interesting. However it will come at a high price, $199. Pre-orders open on October 10th, but the device won’t ship until December 6th.
Oculus also announced a different piece of hardware, Oculus Earphones. For $49, also coming in December, you can add to the immersion with Oculus branded earbuds. You could probably find a cheaper pair of headphones that work just as well beforehand, and you won’t have to struggle with earbuds instead.
Hardware wasn’t the only thing on parade, plenty of software was shown off. 4A Games, Ready at Dawn, and Epic Games all have games coming that will support the Touch but none of them sound like groundbreaking releases. Epic’s game, Robo Recall, builds upon Epic’s other VR games and will be free to play on release next year. Also announced were Oculus Avatars, a virtual representation of yourself for social settings like chat rooms and parties. Truly we’re entering the cyberpunk future we all wanted.
Oculus may have put on a brave face, especially after Luckey’s strange political donations, but they may have priced themselves out of the market. PS VR releases soon with $400 and $500, with the more expensive SKU packing in Move controllers and a camera. The HTC Vive is $799, only $1 more than the Oculus and Oculus Touch, comes with two Touch-like controllers and two room sensors. That means, part for part, the Vive and Oculus are twins and the cheaper PS VR seems like the only choice for those of us without beefy PCs.
In a matter of weeks, Oculus has gone from defacto VR leader to a giant question mark. The Vive was also the default choice if you had the cash, but now seems like the given for anyone who’s serious about VR. It’s a shame that PS VR is getting so many mixed reviews because now, with all three headsets about to be on the market, the future of Virtual Reality feels more unsure than ever before.