Today at the Steam Dev Days conference in Seattle, Valve is showing off brand new prototypes of its Steam VR controllers.

Today’s HTC Vive controllers are bulky compared to what’s coming

While the original VR controllers that ship with the HTC Vive are undoubtedly functional, it’s widely agreed that Oculus’ forthcoming ‘Touch’ controllers are a big step forward in ergonomics. That gap may soon be a thing of the past, as Valve is showcasing new VR controller prototypes at Steam Dev Days which offer a much different take on the design.

The new SteamVR controller prototypes have a much smaller footprint handprint than what’s in the hands of HTC Vive users today. The prototypes are not so much held as they are (optionally) gripped; a band hooking over the side of the user’s palm connects the core of the controller to a sort of backhand gripper which appears to keep the controller attached to the hand even while it isn’t being held.

The controllers can be seen dotted in uncovered SteamVR Tracking sensors, just like prototypes of the original controller. One source from the event says that each controller has 21 sensors.

Developers at the conference today who have tried the controller say that users can ‘let go’ of the controller while in use, and it stays attached to the hand. This allows virtual objects to be thrown with the aid of the natural muscle-memory of opening one’s hand as they throw, an instinct that must be subdued with other controllers to save from throwing the controller clear across the room (always to hit a TV, somehow). Always wear your wrist straps, folks.

It appears that the controller may also support variable states between ‘open hand’ and ‘gripped hand’, reflecting a more natural connection between the user’s real and virtual hand positions.

Photo courtesy Shawn Whiting

The Valve VR controller prototypes appear to be 3D printed and feature a trigger and trackpad with three face buttons surrounding it. Some photos appear to show an array of LEDs across the front of the controller though the component’s function remains unknown.

Valve: 300 Companies Already Planning to Use SteamVR Tracking Tech

With Valve not inviting any press to Steam Dev Days, further details surrounding the controller are thin; it’s not currently known what the company’s plans are for the controller going forward, but we’ll keep you in the know as we learn more.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • wheeler

    Awesome stuff. Looking forward to being able to open/close hands, pickup, drop, throw, etc etc naturally in VR. From The Gallery demo it looks like opening and closing one’s hands is a smooth transition rather than a boolean state of open/closed.

    However, I wonder if I’ll still prefer the wands for games with guns, swords, or other wielded objects.

    • Scott C

      I didn’t get “smooth transition” at all from that short clip. It looks like three states, with no thumb or finger independence. Probably a marginal win over the Touch in terms of gross gestures (releasing a ball, holding a cup vs. squeezing a cup, for instance), but misses out on the opportunity for natural social gestures like thumbs up, OK, pinching, and pointing that the Touch can register and use as a variety of gesture states to complement object manipulation.

  • Get Schwifty!

    This justifies the whole point that Vive rushed to market with the wands to try to grab market with a half-baked design, now Vive owners have to what…. let me think buy ANOTHER pair of controllers for what $200 maybe to get a design that might be a coarser version of Touch X) Whats that come to, $799 + $199 maybe for a grand total of $998 USD. Hey Vive is the “Good Company”, maybe they will give them all away to existing owners X)

    Don’t get me wrong, for VR on the whole I am excited that both Rift and Vive are pushing designs, but this is hysterical. Constant crap for days of “Touch controllers too little too late, and ya gotta buy a 3rd camera for $79 – suckahs!!!”. And now this…

    Do tell, do tell….

    • Patrick Moore

      This is just the nature of early-adopter technology. Remember how fast the smartphone market evolved, with new features and improvements every couple of months for the first few years? Same deal here, only odds are it will take even longer for things to stabilize.

      • Get Schwifty!

        I would agree except that Vive was aware of the better design Oculus had (this has been stated by them), claimed to have “rejected” it and used the wand design to just push it all out the door. Now they continue working on a controller replacement which clearly shows they know the wands are not a competitive design. How hard is this to grasp given the facts?

        • ummm…

          dude, let it go. if you want to start complaining about “better design” even tho that design IS NOT EVEN IN CONSUMERS HANDS, then maybe you should realize that oculus just copied much of their vr tech from the BETTER DESIGNS of valve and htc

          • Get Schwifty!

            Not denying they both feed off each other, not at all, its the point that people who opted for Vive just had to constantly dig on the point that Oculus hadn’t yet delivered on full room scale with controllers; a relatively minor wait for a better controller from Oculus brings nothing but scorn but Vive owners (who apparently are generally more inclined to think short-term) are all too happy to shell out more money for an experience with controllers that Oculus ultimately will have out sooner. But judging by the responses here it all just comes down to two things:

            1) Whatever tech is available is the best tech, no matter if in a short time you have to turn around and buy a refinement that should have been there before (funny that this isn’t acceptable at all with the Xbox controller admitted stand-in with Oculus), and

            2) They just dont like Facebook/Oculus.

            Had Vive used wires for their Lighthouse system and Oculus wireless, I am sure the Vive contingent would no doubt argue that it was the right move.

            There’s little way to argue with such a simple mindset when the facts are plainly evident.

          • ummm…

            wow so much to unpack here. I’ll do it once, and then we should probably end the conversation. I respect your points, and im just asking for you to look at the situation with clear eyes.

            1) how are vive owners inclined to think short term? we have had a room scale solution that COSTS LESS, HAS A BETTER SYSTEM, LESS WIRES, NO NEED TO PURCHASE MORE HARDWARE THAT IS MORE EXPENSIVE IN THE END. I’ll have one system for the first 18 months before the 2nd gen comes out. YOu’ll be cobbling together the parts to do what I did 6 months ago, until december. Remember you have to purchase a third tower, that has less usability if kent bye is to be believed. However, the oculus is a wonderful piece of tech and im happy you have it. I just chose a different dish than you. I happen to like mine more.

            2) refinement? what is refined about the oculus? yes the headset maybe, but then again the things that the vive can do tech wise neccesitated some design choices and in the end i think the vive wins the day.

            3) im not sure your point on the xbox controller but that really is an odd thing to bring up directly after you talk about “Rushing to market”

            4)i dont like facebook/oculus. i think they did some things that was for their shareholders and not their consumers. We can complain about valve too. However, it is well noted that valve and steam foster a community and support developers. they are somewhat transparent – SOMEWHAT. customer service can still be mind numbingly slow.

            5)why would we argue that wired or wireless is better? vive used wireless because their tech SOLUTION didnt require wired. That was a knock on effect that has a benefit!!!! why would oculus be rushing to wireless HMDs if wired was better? we all love wireless. dont be upset.

            the facts aren’t evident. im happy for you. i really am. those touch controllers look cool. i probably would have opted for them if given the option, but then again as i said previously the vive controllers have their own uses, if we only assign value to the controllers if they parody our virtual world tools i.e. in a golf, sword etc game it makes sense – but it also make sense in general because a) it works b) the shape of the controller in the real world means nothing when your hands are in a virtual world.

            be well. hope to see you out there one day if we ever get oculus to open their platform and play together.

      • Random Man

        this is the kind of outlook people should have taken from the start, but a certain group is going to be way more willing to accept that now that the roles are reversed.

    • Scott C

      Not to mention all the belittling and dismissiveness whenever somebody suggested that the capacitive finger detection was a usefully immersive feature…

      • Get Schwifty!

        ikr… and the truly optional earbuds are ballyhooed as well…

        • ummm…

          ? what ? are you complainng about earbuds that CAN BE SWAPPED OUT at ones preference?

          • Get Schwifty!

            I dont know how to even respond to this… the point is people are decrying Oculus for having the nerve to offer optional earbuds. I’m complaining about the people making a point of an utterly optional piece of tech in VR as some mistake.

          • ummm…

            can you link me? on face value id say you would be right to call foul.

          • ummm…


    • hyperskyper

      The current Vive controllers are fantastic. I have not tried the Touch controllers, but I don’t really care anyway. Those prototypes are obviously nowhere near finished, so I am glad that the Vive came with polished motion controllers, instead of early prototypes or just an Xbox controller. Some people just never are satisfied. You are freaking out a little too much.

      • Get Schwifty!

        You might think that, but there are plenty of reviewers and even owners who decry them as being poor for immersion and comfort. There’s no question the design cannot support the immersiveness needed or they wouldn’t need a redesign this radical this soon.

        • hyperskyper

          So… this is based on what you’ve read on the internet and not from first hand experience? I have had a Vive for around 3 months and I can honestly tell you that the controllers don’t decrease immersion or anything of the sort. They are light, comfortable, and the controls work wonderfully. The only thing I can imagine as being more immersive is just using your hands as controllers.

          • Get Schwifty!

            I have used them, they work fine enough, but there is no question they are not as immersive as the upcoming designs, there are way too many compromises. Try opening your hands with those btw…

          • Paulo Martel

            Actually, it dependes a lot of what you mean by “immersive”. The present controllers are better suited to emulate say a sword or a gun than something that straps to your wrist and takes away most of the weigth and balance from the hand. It is clear that there’s not gonna be a single, perfect controller for VR, as controllers will have to “pretend” at being many different things. Having said that, I feel that the current Vive controllers are quite confortable and functional.

          • loktar

            First hand experience as an owner since May they are meh. Not bad, but not great. They work fine but definitely could be better. My touch arrives in Dec.

        • ummm…

          i dont really know these people that decry it. i use it everday. they work fantastically. but im also excited that more options are being made available. that is what is great about the pc, options. this isn’t a console. i can upgrade or switch out any time i want. as it stands now, i’ve been room scaling for months with only smles.

        • Christopher Tranter

          ah yes, the armchair expert opinion

          • Get Schwifty!

            And yours isn’t as well, along with the legions of Vive fanboys who do nothing but criticize Oculus every move, especially in regards to costs while gingerly denying the fact they bought into a stand-in system when a better device was coming around the corner from a competitor… again, very hypocritical. It’s plain tribalism, not reason at that point.

          • Christopher Tranter

            huh? i have a vive. i made a choice after having a dk2. The choice was mainly around facebook vs steam. I made the correct choice as 1) oculus are a walled garden and their antics were pretty poor earlier in the year 2) they are connected to a manchild who supports everything i despise 3) the vive is consistently voted the better product in reviews

            not sure why you think that’s fanboyism, i’d call it an informed and well made decision

          • D.L

            I chose Vive for a variety of reasons.

            1. It had hand and room-scale tracking earlier than the competition
            2. I prefer Steam as a software distribution platform
            3. I like open APIs, open source and all that jazz because I’m a nerd (not saying that OpenVR is all of those, but it hits more of those targets than OVR does) though also for more reasons than that, a lot of them philosophical.
            4. I really don’t like Facebook and I want as little to do with them as possible.

            I’ve criticised Oculus before, but if I did it was generally for a reason that was important to me rather than some lame-ass internet point scoring.

          • That’s some serious pot calling the kettle black there, sir posts a lot.

        • Toffotin

          A Vive user here also. Controllers work great, no complaints. Certainly not poor, uncomfortable or immersion breaking.
          We also have Rift’s Touch controllers at work. Haven’t tried them in VR but I have held them in my hand and they feel really good too.
          It’s early days of VR, and it’s great to see innovation and people testing different kind of ideas. Early adopters regretfully have to suffer some changes and high cost. If you want a more stable finished experience, you have to wait. It can be frustrating though, I get it.

        • You’re coming off as someone unsure they made the choice with their Oculus and is trying really, really hard to justify it to themselves. Chill out

          • Get Schwifty!

            Not at all, in fact I might well go Vive in another round if it makes sense. OTOH, my point was that there is an obvious double standard at work when it comes to people judging on action. I’m very happy with my selection, I had both in hand and ultimately returned the Vive the more I read up and looked at the designs. Would I have preferred Touch at the HMD launch? Of course, but I believe waiting for a better design made sense in the long run. If Oculus had put out a similar wand design, and say Vive had put out something like the Touch first, then Oculus put out a Touch style I assure you there would be no end of accusing them of exploiting the market. HTC Vive does it, and its just accepted as normal thought it really is abusive of the market. This I find appalling.

    • Bryan Ischo

      The Vive wands are great; these may be better but who knows, they’re not even a PRODUCT yet.

      It’s clear you have a personal agenda to criticize Valve even when the criticisms make no sense at all.

      • Get Schwifty!

        The point is you are being encouraged to put aside a poorly made controller design and turn around and now invest in a new one (it will lead to a product in the next year)… and people were giving Oculus crap for having the nerve to hold off and design a better one, and suggest an extra camera for room scale. Now people will run out and spend more beyond the so-called turn key solution from Vive, but somehow its just okay when it’s Vive doing it.

        Not a personal agenda per se, rather one of the tiresome way people ignore the obvious moves here by HTC/Valve laying the market while giving Oculus who is taking their time doing it reasonably right with a long term plan constantly crap for “too late, more cost” with their design… and now a knock off effort that will cost current and near term adopting Vive users even more and they smile while lapping it up. Amazing, not surprised some folks cant see it really, they dont think or plan beyond the moment.

        • ummm…

          poorly made controller design? they work fantastically, especially when i need a wand shape for golf etc. i think oculus did a great job with their controller design. for many months ive used the vive controller. im excited to see the next wave of 1st and 3rd party controllers. i fail to see your point, or feel cheated.

          • Pistol Pete

            Don’t worry about Schwifty, he babbles a lot. He is just mad about having to use an Xbox controller in VR for nearly almost this whole year.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            hahaha yeah he be noob’ed in VR trying to rectify his wrong buy from his long term savings haha.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Yes, the last refuge of not engaging the logic… decry someone as a poor n00b – very classy.

          • Get Schwifty!

            They are good only for a limited range of experiences, and certainly dont allow you to do more natural hand motions. Yeah you can wave them around and tag something to pick up or touch, but that’s nowhere near the Touch design or this new prototype for immersion. Not surprised you don’t feel cheated, nor am I saying you should, only that its a double-standard at work here.

          • ummm…

            ? limited range of experiences? can you name the ones it can’t do? have you used them? also what can the touch controllers do that the vive ones can’t. im sure there has to be at least one for both because they have different designs. but tell me your detailed points, dont paint broad strokes. what sort of immersion will you receive looking forward standing up and not moving? what do you care about immersion either, you are happy sitting all the time – by your own admission.

          • loktar

            They work fine, but not FANTASTIC. There is definitely room for improvement. However I myself do not feel cheated, was just nice to get some hand tracking at all.

          • David Herrington

            There is ALWAYS room for improvement… we aren’t talking about a holodeck here.

          • ummm…

            oh boy now we are parsing language. i wouldnt live with them forever, but at the same time i haven’t lived with any girlfriend forever. Soon these controllers will get smart and dump me………..get what im saying? me neither.

          • loktar

            TIL comments shouldnt be parsed.

          • ummm…

            i was referring to the words “fantastic” and “works fine”. you take issue with my use of the world, but you dont deconstruct how i erred.

        • RipVoid

          Are you the same person that was arguing the xbox controller was the right controller for certain types of game play?

          Well the wands are right for certain types of game play like swords and golf clubs.

          Please Schwifty, give it a rest.

          • ummm…

            also, if shifty thinks that controller shape is so important then he must concede his controller is only good for making fists in games because that is basically how the oculus controllers work. however, i dont agree with this, and i think the oculus controllers are fantastic as well, at least in design – i hope we get an analagous controller option sooner than later.

        • Liam Mulligan

          Mummy didnt buy you a vive for your widdle birthday. Tsk tsk.
          Ive never read such a pile of shit. Ive had a vive pre since march have 180 games and have shown it to endless people. Not one has complained about the controllers. You in Australia are known as a dickhead.

          • Nik

            Lol “games”. Man I have a Vive, but I wouldn’t go so far to call at least 95% of the things on steamVR “games”

          • ummm…

            no no no i can go down a list of some really great games. should i? ive got nearly 100

          • Get Schwifty!

            Aussies are generally asses, so I am not too surprised… no one gives a damn about you being Australian “mate” ;)

          • ummm…

            chill bud. your losing the crowd.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Sorry – but I don’t know why Aussies feel the need to bring it eventually into every discussion, I see the same thing with Brits constantly, so it must be a cultural hangover.

          • ummm…

            what about aussies or brits? im neither.

        • D.L

          Back during the prototype stages of development Valve had an experimental controller that was even more similar to the Touch than this is, called Cutlass. I wouldn’t call it a knock-off design unless you extend that same level of scorn to the Rift CV1 which was based off Valve’s prototype HMD that Oculus had on loan from them for a while. The fact is that the designs we’re all seeing have been in gestation for a very long time, the progress we’re seeing mainly comes from discovering what designs work after you cram electronics into them and actually use them.

          The existing Vive wands are great. They’re the first consumer controller that can track it’s position near-perfectly and that is quite an achievement. I don’t really see why I should be angry at Valve for rapidly iterating this early in the ecosystems life, it’s not like the existing hardware will suddenly stop working.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Not angry at Valve directly at all, but I can’t see all the constant shit-talk from Vive owners about Oculus not shipping with wands but a controller when they took the extra time to develop a better design. Now Valve makes a similar move, clearly indicating the wands are not all that and people just lap it up. It’s pure hypocrisy when you consider all the talk about an extra, optional $79.00 for better room-scale and optional $49 earbuds being some travesty. It’s hilarious to observe now the Vive fanboys will march out and happily drop another $199 without thinking about it, while the folks who took their time and were discerning about the design were derided constantly with recent announcements.

            Thank you for an adult commentary on this however. I will say the wands work well enough, yes, but as I predicted they were a temporary solution at best. And I did indicate that Vive had a similar design as well but instead of holding off to finish it, they rushed to market with the wands when they knew Oculus was working on a better design (whether it was originally based on a Vive design or not, what is released does). This is proving my point entirely, and yet no criticism from the fanboys. Had Oculus done this they would be pilloried for pushing shit on the public and then exploiting them further with a better design.

            The point is I don’t see why many Vive owners had to put Oculus down for taking their time to deliver a better controller, and mock those who were willing to wait a few months later. I guess when your 18 six months seems like forever, but its not. Now the shoe is on the other foot and they refuse to admit it.

          • D.L

            Both companies launched early and made their own set of compromises to reach those early launches. They also have very different approaches to design and Valve in particular is on a different wavelength to most of the industry, which is reflected in what they create and the way they create it.

            Oculus, from the start, was all about creating a neat, defined, polished experience from start to finish. This is reflected in the design of the headset, it’s very nice. It is, in effect, a console-like experience. This has it’s benefits to the consumer.

            The Vive is a bit heavier and bulky but it’s also more extensible with it’s USB port and camera. This reflects Valve’s philosophy that what is important at this time is experimentation and creation and I kinda agree with that.

            Big flashy **OPINION** lights here but Oculus’ exclusives thus far aren’t very good VR games. They don’t do anything that hasn’t been done before; all the verbs are familiar. Maybe this is what some consumers want, but me? No, I want something new. I want new verbs to play with, stuff that can’t be done with a controller. This is going to require a hell of a lot of messing about in order to figure out what the hell works and now OpenVR developers have a years head start. Oculus made a mistake not prioritising controllers, it cost them a lot of marketshare not to mention hearts and minds.

            Besides all that, the controllers aren’t fundamentally different. Touch has a couple extra (mostly) digital inputs and the Vive has a neato touchpad. Both have triggers and grip inputs. The positional tracking data across both, the most important thing, is practically identical. There are some design considerations such as it being easier to guess where the hand is in Touch compared to the Vive wan,d though I’ve used virtual hands on the Vive and they weren’t a problem.

            The biggest difference, is that Valve are creating not only a software ecosystem, but a hardware one. They’re actively working with multiple partners to develop a range of controllers and headsets tailored to a variety of use cases, just like how everything else is, ideally, in the PC space. Gloves, tracking pucks, teledildonics whatever, they’re letting anyone who wants a shot at innovating a go using their very flexible API and tracking tech.

            This is a very good thing for the market and VR as a whole. A lot of shitty products will be made, sure, but that’s all part of the learning process.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Thank you for the thoughtful response. No doubt there will be innovation, but folks can’t just sit there an deride a company for making a decision to hold off for a better design to give consumers a better experience which is what most of the Vive contingent has done for months, along with talk about paying a nominal difference for an equivalent experience This is what I find particularly grating. Its clear that HTC Vive knew the wands were so-so, and pushed them out there to gain market momentum (they do this with phones constantly). It’s ultimately a very market exploitative move but judging by how people react that’s just fine apparently, the “gimme tech nowz” crowd is all to happy to buy again in a short time which is what HTC Vive is counting on. I find it fascinating, but then I am a guy who thinks it’s stupid to buy a phone every year, I’d rather wait for significantly better tech, and I suspect some of this comes with experience and age.

            Now their early adopters will have to turn around and drop very likely in the neighborhood of $199 more for an experience a competitor, in this case the “evil” Facebook/Oculus gives and its just peachy keen. you can be sure if the shoe had been on the other foot there would be no end of criticisms about rushing to market and exploitation.

            BTW, I do agree about the half-hearted attempts by Oculus on the walled garden in theory, but I think they have to establish a their own platform and exclusives help that. It to me would be nonsensical for them to allow VR gaming to be strictly defined by Valve/HTC with their delivery platform. They (Valve/Vive) claim to be open but there is just no way you can ever convince me that the their own VR setup won’t get first treatment and any competitor second. I really dont get why people find this hard to grasp. I recall another poster trying to get this across to folks who bought the “open environment” line fully as well giving up because it was clear people couldn’t understand that just being “open” doesn’t make it level.

            I have also predicted that the wands would drop off, and a design for both HTC VIve and Oculus would look more or less like the Touch and this new design. I also think that the HMD ergonomics of the Sony PSVR are plainly superior to either Vive or Rift and both will eventually release HMDs that incorporate that design. Ill also predict that inside-out camera tracking is the future, and Lighthouse will not survive more than five or six years and that the camera method is the better in the long run and eventually HTC Vive will move to it along with Oculus, at least partially at first then full on later as it just plain makes more sense in the long run. But in the short term, tacking cheap tracking chips on everything helps sell the platform but its not a good long term approach.

          • David Herrington

            Its funny to me that you attack Vive people saying they are so impatient with tech, and that may be true. But I believe the main reason you are ranting is because you don’t have nice motion controllers to use, so you make your hands busy by complaining instead of just being happy with what you have.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Yeah that must be it – lets not discuss the points, only attack the messenger.

          • RipVoid

            The market for VR is enthusiasts right now. These people want innovation and to try new things. The technology will settle down at some point but I, for one, hope that we keep seeing new and better things for a long time. I criticize Oculus because they are not driving this innovation anymore.

            It sure didn’t take Facebook long to become a stodgy old tech company and Oculus is adopting that culture.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Yeah I guess that’s the sum of all the announcements at OC3…. *rolls eyes*

          • RipVoid

            There is definitely a place for social VR and it’s probably a much bigger market than serious gaming but no, I don’t get excited about Oculus’s plans to move Facebook into VR. *rolls eyes*

        • Pistol Pete

          You sound like Donald Trump, “it’s just locker room bander”. Flip flopping everything around. How do you know these “prototype” controllers are not for Vive 2.0. You do know what prototype means don’t you?

          • Get Schwifty!

            I believe they most certainly are… again, the point is that Vive moved on the market with a known stand-in design. Oculus took their time to give the consumer a better choice up front. So Vive exploits the early adopters, then turns around (again), apes Oculus and adds one or two twists. Not surprising given this is generally how they produce a lot of products.

            And really, we have to try to paint someone who points out the obvious market grab move by a company is like Donald Trump?

          • RipVoid

            The Xbox controller is a much more obvious “known stand-in” controller. That didn’t stop you from arguing about how great it was for VR. *gag*

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          I like the vive wand they are perfect for many things in VR.
          And for sure they are better as an XBOX CONTROLLER !

        • Christopher Tranter

          you appear to be an imbecile. Controller v1 will be superseded by controller v2. do you not understand how product development works?

        • tomer gilron

          You said before that “they are not as immersive as the upcoming designs” but that can be said on every controller you got in the market right now.
          Things will always improve.
          I tried them and was satisfied. Of course I know that future design will be better, they are made to be better.
          I’m pretty sure that oculus will also release a new controllers in the future as well as vive releasing even newer.

        • Matt R

          Don’t feed the troll and he may go away.

          • If you block them, they also vanish.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            OMG thank you very much, did not know discuss had this feature but going into his profile and hitting those 3 magic dots in the menu did the trick !
            Troll filter FTW , thanks

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            Blocked him

        • Borg

          I’m with schwifty. Oculus is making some really thoughtful decisions, and they are backing it up with a half a billion dollars worth of content. I stand by my decision to give them my money, and when December gets here I can finally stop being appalled by everyone comparing apples to oranges unfairly.

        • Ah there

          Not a personal agenda — you’ve replied to every post on this thread. A professional one then? You seem a little too enthused about Oculus.

          • Ah there

            Hahaha.. your ENTIRE post history of 200 posts is all anti-Vive and Oculus defenses. This must be your job.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Not really – I work in IT Security and work from home often, and am interested in VR. I also happen to get irritated at the constant FUD attacks that go on out there. Oculus isn’t perfect, but the reality is they are doing good work overall to really push VR overall, really more than HTC Vive really is, and its amazing to me that many Vive owners refuse to acknowledge any negatives with the Vive platform while basically opting to do nothing but post negatives about Oculus, which isn’t really helping the overall adoption of VR. I think I have been very fair about echoing the same concerns over exclusives and walled garden, etc. and the missteps along the way. OTOH, rarely does Oculus do something positive that inevitably someone from Team Vive runs in and posts some half-assed comment designed to undercut them, usually relying upon an emotional appeal with what they think is a clever comment.

            This is not helping VR, only making them feel better about their purchase and a feeling they are supporting a “Good Company” while helping to stall out a player that is committed to the space for a very long time. Sales for both setups are tanking; the good thing is Facebook/Oculus knows there wont be overnight mass adoption. The real question is whether or not Valve/HTC Vive will stick it out long as well, they are much more driven by immediate market concerns, particularly HTC which is in the model of incremental upgrades and constant hardware sales like phones.

    • Max Cheung

      I think the reason why they use the lighthouse system is that…they can design additional controller whenever they want.

      I foresee a rifle-shape of controller in the future

      • NullReference

        Not trying to be contentious or anything – still making up my mind which to go for – but what makes you think that Oculus constellation couldn’t also support various controllers in the future? (I’m genuinely interested)

    • RipVoid

      The point behind Lighthouse and the sensors is that it that there is going to be a lot of different controller options. These seem similar to Touch and it makes sense to make them a priority so that they can benefit from Touch development but they aren’t going to make the wands obsolete. In a year there are going to be a lot of different lighthouse controllers.

      • Get Schwifty!

        Lighthouse is short term thinking, it sounds great until you look down the road. Vive wants to make Lighthouses a common thing on every corner so to speak. OTOH, Oculus sees that camera tech which is constantly improving is the better long-term play in the long run, particularly for inside-out tracking and projecting the user into virtual space. This point is just not brought up enough and yet is the key to why Oculus decided on cameras instead of Lighthouse. It kills me when people make comments like Oculus couldn’t figure out how to do room scale, couldn’t make Lighthouse etc. which is absurd. They looked at it and looked down the road and see the limitations it has. And if you think about it, inside-out camera integration will ultimately bring any peripheral into play as well. Not as quickly as Lighthouse, but ultimately Lighthouse will give way to the camera tech. This is the way HTC works though, putting out a temporary, market exploiting tech, then just sidestepping it a short term later from their long term road map to sell something else. I dont mind it, but I do mind people being in utter denial about it :) It’s just poor value over time ultimately, and more than a little exploitative.

        • RipVoid

          Nobody knows how all this tech is going to pan out yet. Not you and not Oculus.

          • Get Schwifty!

            No, but there are fundamentals in play enough to make reasonable inferences. Camera tech is a pretty sure bet that its going to steadily improve along with software analysis and support. Lighthouse is fine enough for limited applications, but in the end there is a need to put one everywhere… that to me and other seems to just be a dead end ultimately as it is not very practical on a large scale.

          • David Herrington

            Yeah but the IR cameras being used now with Rift aren’t even the same as you are talking about. So they are entirely new tech and you would have to buy all new equipment if you wanted that… there is no crossover.

            So I guess I will be ranting on the boards when Gen 2.0 Rift comes up and doesn’t even use constellation tracking cameras anymore, right?

          • RipVoid

            And when it does, you will be buying new ones just like everyone else.

          • Get Schwifty!

            I guarantee it, but only if it makes good sense.

          • RipVoid

            That statement is a contradiction. You are in fact not guaranteeing it. You make a lot to contradictory statements.

        • D.L

          By your own standards, Oculus is releasing dead-end hardware. The cameras can’t do much more than tracking points of IR light, technology that has been around for decades. Any inside out tracking tech works very differently and it’d have to be an entirely new specification with new hardware.

          • Get Schwifty!

            No not mine, but by Oculus take. The camera technology bet is by Oculus own word, it is improving all the time (think face recognition for instance) and the ability to read the environment and in turn then use that input to place the persons own body into the environment. Could they be wrong? Sure, but look at the cameras on your phone too see how rapidly this is moving. From Oculus’ Brendan Iribe:

            “We’re really big believers in optical tracking, in camera sensors. That is the bet that we’re making. And that’s the future of sensor tracking. If you look at things like the Kinect, or any of these different kinds of infrared structured light sensors, or any of the stereo camera sensors, they’re all based on cameras. And cameras continue to get better.

            If you want to see your full body in the game, if you want to see your fingers and your fingernails … not this generation, but, eventually, if you want to see all of that, that’s going to be done with c amera sensors. That’s not going to be done with any other kind of sensor. That’s an optical sensor, and that’s the investment we’re making.”

            Now, they aren’t idiots investing in a dead technology, that’s position just shows a fundamental lack of grasp of the situation technically.

            Could they be wrong? Sure, but its unlikely, and the move is probably going to be the better one in the long term. Vive’s lighthouse, which I don’t dislike, but it is not a great long term design solution move.

          • D.L

            What they are using now as their tracking technology is Constellation, which uses a camera with a wide frustum, tracked objects connected by bluetooth covered with LEDs which are picked up by the camera. That is the extent of what the hardware they’re selling can do and anything they release in the near future will be constrained by those limitations, save for some relatively minor increases in precision if they release better IR cameras down the track.

            The other thing they’re talking about, the ability for a camera to track arbitrary objects and it’s own position in space is entirely different. It requires different cameras, it’s less efficient and requires more bandwidth. It works well for HMDs but for tracked controllers things become a lot more difficult as there are far stricter power and processing requirements. For these kinds of applications you’d probably still be better served by the GPS satellite-like setups we have now.

            I think you lack the grasp on the technology. A camera isn’t just a camera, photosensors are capable of a lot more.

    • Patrick Bradley

      You’re correct. How dare they innovate and create a new design. Those monsters.

      The reality is the room scale is better then anything the occulas can achieve. And it’s now cheaper when you factor in touch controllers and the requirement for the additional sensor to get 3.

      • Random Man

        They’re not innovating by admitting Oculus had the right approach to controllers.

        By the way, you don’t need three Oculus sensors to have tracking on par with the Vive. Roomscale is just what they’ve named a three camera setup; two cameras has about the same range and occlusion as two lighthouses.

        It is the exact same price for the Rift to do the same as a Vive and more, but if you got a Vive and want Touch style controllers you need to shell out more money.

        • Kyuutketsuki

          Maybe I’m a money waster, but I’m happy with the 6 months I had motion controls while the Rifters did not. If I have to pay a premium for that extra time I’m happy too. Every Oculus title I’ve tried was woefully inadequate and disappointing because of the lack of motion controls.

          Let’s also point out that competition and innovation and copying is good. While Vive works to recreate an Oculus Touch style controller, we see that the wireless Oculus prototype has switched to an Inside-Out tracking scheme. So both companies are learning from the mistakes and successes of the other and that means that gen 1.5 or gen 2, and definitely gen 3 will be that much more epic because of it. By Gen 3 we should have perfectly ergonomic controls, inside out tracking and even be wireless.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Exactly my point, if you are happy with it fine, but you cant say “I’m happy I paid more when you guys had to wait” as though that is some superior position. That’s nonsensical. The people who waited were happy to wait, they didn’t suffer in their decision in the least. And I did point out I was happy that they were innovating and pushing each other.

      • Get Schwifty!

        Were discussing controllers not room scale; dont deviate from the question :) The point is the Vive setup will not be cheaper for those who jumped on it with short term thinking; now they will spend another $199 on top of the $799 already and some this is just okay but if Oculus folks pay a bit more for an experience its murder. This move actually makes Oculus the cheaper solution, even worst case at $899 with three cameras. I can see it now down the road “I paid more for my premium experience with Vive” being the rationalization lol. Tribalism at its finest.

    • Anshel Sag

      This may possibly be the saltiest way of interpreting this announcement possible. I’ve interpreted this as, look, we’re improving the controllers like we said we would. You can use them, or you can not. There will be plenty more from other companies you can buy as well. Period.

      • J.C.

        As much as Schwifty cries about Vive-leaning posters, he’s a heavily Oculus-leaning poster. whatever.

        These are not coming out next month. They’re not coming out this year.

        They’re likely going to come with a new HMD, and maybe even slightly upgraded Lighthouses. I honestly hope they DO come in a Vive 2.0 package deal, enticing owners of the original to sell their current setup. If a new HMD comes out without controllers, or controllers without an HMD, then upgraders will have unused equipment that they can’t sell. No one’s going to want to piecemeal a used Vive system. A large number of people are waiting for the second generation systems so they can buy the first gen ones for a price they can stomach, which in turn drives more software sales.

        New hardware is in the works at Oculus and Vive, at all times. Oculus already has people looking at new controller designs and tweaks to the Unreleased one. The difference is just release schedules, nothing more. The Vive wands aren’t BAD – they’re quite functional, but we all know this is just the beginning, and there is no “best design” yet. Being mad that companies are actively working on that is idiotic.

    • Kyuutketsuki

      I’ve been using the Vive since April. I have long thought the Touch was the better design. However, I can honestly say that very few experiences in the Vive make me miss the ergonomics of the Touch. As the article mentions, lobbing a grenade take s a little bit of thinking. Also, I can tell you that my Vive controllers have saved me from injury on more than one occasion when I otherwise would have punched something. I also can see a situation where I am glad to have both types of controllers. Perhaps even using a vive wand in one hand and a wraparound in another, who knows. I always expected to eventually be buying all manner of tracked peripherals to extend the functionality and ergonomics.

      Though we bitch and moan about prices, the fact is VR is expensive and is going to be for a long time.

      As a last note. In watching the juggling videos on Twitter I think Valve may be leapfrogging a little in that these prototypes with the way that clamp on the head may be a step up from the Touch. The Touch has better ergonomics than vive wands, being that they are closer to the center of your hand, but you still have to grip them partially at all times like the vive. If you let go and point your hands down they will slip off. The new Valve prototype looks like its the next best thing to a glove, staying on regardless unless you shake really hard. I would have loved to have that during the debate in AltSpace, I didn’t want to put my contollers down but having them hanging from my wrists was annoying.

      • Get Schwifty!

        They don’t slip off, that is incorrect, they have a small strap holding it to the wrist. If you flop your hands around they might come loose, but that is not what we are talking about. Again, better or not is not the point, the point is that Valve sold a stand-in design, and Oculus was constant kicked for not having brought a stand-in design to market, except for the Xbox controllers which they indicated up front was a stand-in and probably will continue to have a place in the eco-system.

        • Brian

          Oculus was kicked for not making Touch the foundation of their input mapping, which affected their ecosystem from the start. We knew before the Vive even came out that Touch would have better hand control, but that didn’t matter because the point is that Vive games would support a more naturalized input experience from their inception.

        • Kyuutketsuki

          I mean slip off in the same way a vive wand does if you let go with the strap on your wrist. It looks as though you wont have to grip the controller non-stop, which is not a big deal but is nice.

          Better is most certainly part of the point. The Vive wands, even if they are completely replaced which is not a guarantee, are not a stand in. They are a fully functional solution that Vive is free to stick with. However they are going the right route that is unique to VR, and giving us more options.

          Also to your argument, the XBOX controller was only a stand in when people bitched about the lack of motion controls. We know from things Lucky has said that they didn’t think people wanted/needed motion controls so they didn’t plan for that originally. Same with room scale. Vive isn’t back tracking, they are simply working on a new design. I’m sure that the wands will remain an option for a long time.

          Remember, the lack of motion controls was just one of many things Oculus got grief for. It’s important to note that while the vive controllers are simply an update/redesign, the Oculus mistakes were actual bad choices. Outside In tracking with webcams was a bad choice (not mistake), not designing motion controls as a choice, not designing room scale as a choice, god ray lenses as a choice (though this one could technically be a mistake), and then they had some serious production issues.

          Let’s all remember, regardless of our version of revisionist history, that Oculus coming with motion controls late, Valve making a similar controller, and Oculus debuting a wireless inside-out tracked HMD all means that each platform will incorporate the best of their competitors with the consumers being the winners in a few generations.

    • Cl

      People wanted motion controls for VR so they got it. Rather there have been no options for VR? Theres always going to be advancement on designs and functionality especially in early stages and youre going to have to pay up if you want the latest just like anything else.

      Im actually really happy about these controllers. I was undecided about vive and oculus because i liked and disliked things on each. I liked the lighter weight on oculus headset. i liked the touch controllers better than vive wands. I like the trackpads on the vive wands better than joystick. i liked the tracking system for vive better. I generally like valve better than facebook.

      So what i really want is a headset as light or lighter than oculus, better controller with steam trackpads(the one in this article looks nice), lighthouse tracking and hopefully a higher fov. That will be the headset i buy. A plus would be wireless streaming from my computer to the hmd. So looks like ill be waiting for vive 2.0 maybe.

      Got a little off track there of what was being talked about.. oh well.

      • Kyuutketsuki

        I think you will get most of what you want soon. I don’t know if we will see the headsets get lighter any time soon. However if Gen 2 or 3 are wireless we may see them feel lighter if they put the tech into a rig you wear across the back or front. From what I read about the PSVR, light might be more about feeling due to ergonomics rather than actual weight.

    • bobojojok

      This will be only the first of many input devices that will come out over the next few years. Why do you think they opened up the tracking to 3rd parties? You will be seeing guns, swords, tennis rackets, feet controllers etc. It will be an entire new spectrum of controller devices all using Valve’s laser tech. Think of it as Oculus being Apple with a closed, controlled ecosystem, providing good overall experience and then Vive as Android, open for everyone to custom-tailor their experience. I think both approaches are good and they can co-exist well together since they both provide users with what they prefer to spend their money on – the only winner in the end is the consumer ;)

      • Toffotin

        Hear hear!

      • Nik

        It’s almost like “fragmentation” was never an issue to begin with.

      • Get Schwifty!

        That’s an easy spin on it frankly. Saying “think of it as” denies the real facts of the matter…. Vive settled for a stand-in design to rush to market, now there is nothing but good things to say for a new controller coming but somehow Oculus sucks for not having put one out initially and took their time to deliver a much more polished product. It’s the utter hypocrisy that galls me.

        • Kencephalopath

          Right, lets not mention how Oculus rushed to market with an Xbox controller and they STILL didn’t make their street dates. Who rushed to market again??

          • Get Schwifty!

            They were upfront about it being a stand-in option, no secrets there. Vive slipped on dates as well, get real.

          • moodybyname

            I actually like the controllers. Personal preference and all, I’m perfectly happy to have them… couldn’t care a less for new ones right now – maybe later, but you know, some people want the newest phone every year, and some are happy with what they got for a few years… The controllers work in 3 dimensions very accurately – which is all I want… again, you can always argue about weighting and feel and all that crap, but some people are happy with cool things and some people like to moan – fact of life…

          • Get Schwifty!

            I think they are fine for what they do; this is a bit though like saying I have a nice general kitchen knife. It will cut anything, the question is when you get into finer precision or need something with more weight behind it, you need a more refined tool. If I had any real criticism of the design its that you must grip it constantly and cant really relax your hand, and totally forget about thinks like finger expressions in game, all you get is a ghosted controller displayed.

      • AndyP

        Okay, but I’m a bit concerned that I bought loads of stupid Wii devices that I used once + I loved my iphones but absolutely hate my Samsung S(tupid) 6 phone (I wish it would explode!). VR success needs PC and console type users, the latter is a much higher $ value (I say this as a PC lover, builder, gamer).

    • Me
      • Get Schwifty!

        “Me” is apparently unable to form cogent sentences for a response…

        • Me

          You know the drill: sometimes a picture’s worth …

          You’re just a troll, and I’m wrong to feed you. Promise, this won’t happen again.

    • Dag Brokjob

      whine some more my child.

    • Matthew Page

      It’s pretty simple really. First iteration of vive vs oculus, vive wins. 2nd development of oculus beats vive 1, 2nd iteration of vive beats that.

      Don’t hate vive for getting motion controllers into the hands of developers (and players) first.

      Anyone buying into either tech expecting it to not be shadowed in the short-term future shouldn’t be buying either now.

    • Matt R

      I would buy them if they came out tomorrow.

    • Steve Dennis

      They don’t ‘have to’ anything. They’re not even a product yet. It won’t be a forced upgrade. Calm down :) Enjoy your VR today.

    • gerton shref

      its almost like youve never experienced revolutionary new and expensive technology being brought to market before.

    • Gman

      That’s the premium you pay for buying any new and first generation tech. It’s more expensive, it won’t be as advanced as newer generations, and the kinks aren’t worked out. You pay more for getting it early.

    • When it comes to Vive/Oculus, if you don’t realize you’re essentially buying prototypes of everything at this point, you probably shouldn’t be buying anything it all.

    • Itchy_Robot

      If you bought a first gen Vive or Rift with the intentions of it lasting long, well shame on you. I think everyone that is dabbling with VR right now knows that yearly updates are going to be the new norm, especially on the PC side. This is not a console.

      That’s why I sat out the first round. Personally I am waiting for a slightly higher resolution headset, and for the controllers to evolve a bit, which we are seeing here. I am also excited about the open source model Valve is pushing. That really goes a long way for me. Oculus seems to be trying to go the console, closed content path.

      • Get Schwifty!

        LOL no, two years at best. However, these new controllers are likely to appear in some form in less than a year (they have been in development before the wands were released) so they had plans all along to swap out from the wands. I doubt yearly upgrades in most cases, possibly but that is not quite what I think they are saying, at least not Oculus. The cadence supposedly is “faster than console, slower than phones”, so give or take 18-24 months.

        Personally I think the open source question is oversold; “open” but by no means level. OTOH, Oculus works with anything that can take it, so it’s not really closed off, unless you don’t own one, and even then the “exclusives” are just timed affairs ultimately.

      • Get Schwifty!

        Hmmmm the reports I have read are that Oculus is shooting for a cadence of “Less than a console, more than a phone” which would be 18-24 months. HTC Vive, being a hardware vendor used to selling new phones every year might be quicker, and this will be interesting to see as they will have more less refined designs out there over time while Oculus is going down the slow but sure path building up a more unified platform over time. The fragmentation boogeyman trotted out over the Xbox controller really applies if HTC Vive pushes out different controllers every year ;)

    • Ghosty

      I don’t have to buy anything… I am perfectly happy with my current Vive controllers… This is just one of countless options coming! And it’s nice to have options! Like Valve has already said… About 300 companies have registered to use their tracking tech… If rather have a ton of options to choose from than just one! Rushed or not it works great and we have had the pleasure of tracked controller for months now… Oculus is just getting out if the gate… Mark my words it will be Oculus playing catchup again for round two!

    • Daemon Hunt

      Schwifty ya troll. Starting to wonder if you are for real, and not just a PR company.

      It’s obvious what is going on here, VR is the Wild West and we’re all pioneers. A better gun, a new pick axe, a redesigned holster… hey, I’m all good, there’s always room for improvement. Without serious development and incremental improvements over time there would be no new technology. Just so happens that VR is the lastest in disruptive technologies, and it needs a whole lotta work to get it right.

      Yep, I’m not made of money, but I do agree that the current Vive controller could be better. It’s a bit large for smaller hands, the button spacing is just a touch unnatural etc. I’m also not a big fan of the HMD pressing up against my face, the balance of weight is out, the cable management is shit etc. Resolution will improve over time… so there’s more money to shell out right there for new stuff… and we’ll ALL do that, especially if the picture and/or FOV improves without significant performance hits.

      I knew when I got into VR that I’d be constantly handing money over for a while, I knew things weren’t perfect, and instead of being annoyed about that, I’m excited. See, that’s why I class myself as a developer. I make things, and I improve them over time. It all costs money, and others make money, but at the end of the day, that’s life in the world of cutting edge technology. The more development I see coming from the VR community, the better… Even if I have to scrimp, save and go into a bit of debt sometimes just to have it. It’s my choice.

      • Get Schwifty!

        Not a troll or PR person in the least, but it’s very hypocritical to gun down Oculus for holding off on a controller release to release a clearly better design and not praise them and simultaneously not see that HTC Vive took the easy way out to market. I’m for real, not a PR company (just a Security IT dude who likes to write apparently), but I am also not afraid to point out obvious flaws in peoples thinking or lack of understanding, or what is most common in these discussions, a gross oversimplification of what is discussed. Don’t get me wrong, I dont dislike Valve/Steam, I even had both systems but the more I read and observed, I felt Oculus setup in time was going down a better path. But I can easily switch, I opted for the Oculus for two years; if Vive is just clearly the better alternative then I will switch. The reality is, there probably will be three or even four major players in the market by that time IF it takes off. These constant attacks on Oculus in the community are counterproductive to VR on the whole when they just become an easy routine and lack substance.

        • Daemon Hunt

          Well, you definitely polarise the conversation. Fair enough about your defence of Oculus, however I’m not one of those people. I can see the strengths and weaknesses of all the current VR offerings across the board and my wallet will ultimately decide where I camp. Things are heating up, it’s pretty exciting.

    • Mike Handles

      Sounds like you are letting the haters get to you. No one had even negatively mentioned the lack of controllers at Rift launch prior to your comments.

      Though I would almost argue that its more half baked to sell a VR experience without motion controllers.

      Just as an example: Should Nvidia be giving out free graphics cards when they start selling non-reference model cards?

      You buy what you buy, simple as that. And no one is forcing consumers to buy the Vive with the wand controllers, and no one is forcing them to “buy ANOTHER pair of controllers for what $200.”

  • Sealchoker

    Hey, I’m all for new and improved designs that deepen and improve gameplay and enjoyment. Just as long as those don’t come out two months after I buy a Vive and cost an arm and a leg.

    • ummm…

      ive had my vive since may. as far as pc peripherals go, in a new market, im ok with switching out. time doesn’t begin when you got ur vive. and this is the pc, not a console.

  • PianoMan

    I did wonder how long it would be before the Oculus supporters, many of which who don’t actually own an Oculus, or have either tried one or a Vive, go on and decry and draw comparisons and assumptions from stuff they’ve read on the net.

    Here’s the thing for the Oculus, whilst we are drawing comparisons on the controllers of the above and the Touch. Shall we draw comparisons of what’s needed by the Oculus to get room scale – it’s laughable and consider the sprawling wires and extra costs in yet an additional camera/sensor, it’s crazy. What’s more it is still the poorer version of roomscale.

    So before those that go on about Vive, their controllers being bad, which they are not they are great, and apparently copying the Touch because it’s amazing, it’s ok. Just understand that the Vive was built for room scale out of the box and whilst you’re tripping over sensor USB cables and getting gitter in your apps, rest assured that those of us on the Vive are very, very happy thanks. Using our wireless lighthouses, our easy to use and comfy controllers and having near perfect room scale.

    • Anshel Sag

      We’ve already got one, scroll up.

    • DiGiCT Ltd

      Amen to that bro, im so delighted seeing all those new assets coming to live for the Vive.
      Those rifters where so excited finaaly getting their controller 1 year later and as we see above the controler has much more features as any controller we ever seen for VR.
      But it rather might be just a talk about vive wands and those new ones being vive coffeecups or so lol.

      The fun is Valve does realy make VR happen as they give people choices and also try to make anything possible wit new ideas all the time.
      Their dev speed is so amazing fast.

      • Get Schwifty!

        Ah yes, short term thinking at its finest… and a year later? Exaggerate don’t we? Pure Vive fanboy this one is…

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          It’s called having choices and freedom, something you would never understand as an oculus freak.

          Enjoy your rift as long as it lasts, as I dont see any progress coming from them but rather nice stories which mostly end up on something you dont want.
          Anyhow Swifty get a rifty.. enjoy as more people disagree with you rather then agree.
          If you cal that fanboys thats your shortcoming on thinking as realistic thinking let you make the correct decisions.

          • Get Schwifty!

            I consider it what it is, a certain blindness to the obvious and clear double standard at work. To say no progress coming from Oculus? Really? This from the company who has settled in for several decades long market development. Hmm okay.

            What I find funny is not a single post in response really addresses the question at hand, that Vive knowingly pushed out a controller that they knew was not all that to get market share while working on another. If Oculus had done that they would be raked over the coals, clear double standard at work. The fact now users are going to pony up more cash seems to make no difference, but if someone opting for Rift does it its routinely derided. The reality is for early adopters in both camps there will be advances and more costs over time, but this shows a clear willingness to drop something less than truly effective out while counting on people to just pony up. It’s a cell phone mentality.

            Just because more people agree with a position doesn’t make it correct ;) I would go so far as to say I see fewer Rift owners taking jibes in general at Vive owners, but routinely in every discussion about Oculus article some Vive idiot chimes in with a negative comment. if that weren’t the case I would never have felt the need to even bring up the issue.

    • Nik

      Well, I have both. Both work equally well once you place a second camera diagonally across the room for the Rift. Ironically, I have had less tracking issues with the Rift in “room-scale” than I have with the Vive. Specifically loss of floor-calibration and floating controllers. I agree that the vive is a good product, but you are fooling yourself if you believe the Rift doesn’t do room-scale well.

      • Get Schwifty!

        THANK YOU. i have read quite a few comments from folks working with them that its clear the whole room scale thing is at best a minor difference under certain conditions. This is my understanding, that the issue has very little to do with laser vs. camera, but all to do with the ring design on the wands making it harder to occlude than the tighter design of the Touch. Factoring that out with a design more like Touch (especially if this new controller design is more or less what comes out) then the tracking issues will be effectively equal. What do you think about this analysis, would that bear out with the room scale differences you see?

    • Get Schwifty!

      Most Oculus “supporters’ own their devices, its not May 2016 now. The same is easily said about Vive supporter as well, there are some who don’t own either this is clear.

      Lets see what it does room scale well with two cameras you get for the exact same price (well one dollar less) than the Vive. And if the wires bother you, get wireless USB extenders. The room scale is marginally different at best, this is a myth that they are largely different and time will show this (not to mention countless videos of people doing Oculus Touch with room scale already), This is a problem in psychology called “Confirmation Bias”. You’ve been told this by ignorant posters and keep repeating it, and any evidence to support a position is blown out of proportion. I guess if the wires bother you one could argue maybe your just not up to the task of organizing it, but that would be petty. Frankly I believe the overall experience of the Rift+Touch will be worth the momentary hassle of setup, and there is the point that wired is less apt to have problems of interference, but that is a corner-case.

      No one is saying either system is good or bad per se, only that it’s nonsensical to criticize one way and not apply the same standard back.

  • Looks great.. and could help democratise controller design. As the input options seem similar to that possible with the Oculus I’d guess it’s got to be a good thing for game developers.. Plus I remember Palmer Lucky discussing controller design during DK1/DK2 days saying they wanted to set their own bar high for controller design as once it’s set it’s hard to push past it… (‘something like that anyway’).

    Anyway it looks very good…

    I don’t think anyone can be annoyed at Vive for offering up a newer controller option in the future.. I don’t think anyone assumed the current wands would be the Vive standard for ever plus… Plus they made the right call if it meant they’d be first to market… I’m not a fan of the whole Oculus/HTC debate… they’re both pushing VR the way I’m keen to see.. and understand they need to succeed as business propositions as well..

  • Chris Wren

    Incorporating hand tracking into this could be really cool, would love to try.

  • dannyhefc69

    Just looks like a rip off of the touch tbh. Im a happy vive owner and i cant see any point in having finger tracking. All that high tech just to press a virtual button, or pick your virtual nose, just seems pointless. Id much prefer a attachable gun stock for the current wands

    The wands in my eyes are perfect, dont fix whats not broken

    • Jim Cherry

      “dont fix whats not broken” this saying only applies to plumbing and electrical work ;} otherwise all software companies would go out of business

      • dannyhefc69

        Improving is 1 thing, but scrapping 1 device to bring in silly finger guesters is stupid. No one really wants that, its a silly gimmick. They need to keep it fun and add gun attachments ect

  • VRgameDevGirl

    Awesome! Can’t wait to design games with these controllers.

  • I wonder how will be the final version of this design

  • Get Schwifty!

    They didn’t rush to market, they admitted it was a stand in device, there was no need to delay release further. I wonder how many people would have held off for Oculus + Touch if they knew Vive was going to turnaround and try to push a new controller after their wand investments… get it?

    • Michael Davidson

      Turn around? Do you happen to know the release date of these “prototype” controls? The VIVE wands are hardly a stand-in. I am perfectly satisfied, neigh, thrilled if a new controller is released 1 year or so after the VIVE’s release date. Remember, these are NOT consoles. Quite frankly I want to see a more robust controller ecosystem. Of course, I know that this post won’t do anything to deter your rampage, but hey; I wanted to toss my 2 cents in the ring. DISCLAIMER: I own both a VIVE and RIFT and love them both.

      • Guy Smiley

        Sorry for the necro… but imagine being able to use the wand as your sword and the new controller as a shield or something like that :))))))))) all da smiley faces

    • Pistol Pete

      Who is pushing a new controller?? Dude do I really have to explain to you what a prototype is?

      I know some people stand by their purchase and believe everything else is inferior. But your severely uneducated and bias comments bring that to a whole new low.

  • Beware of a fanboy circlejerk below. Do not feed the troll.

  • David Herrington

    So lets get some facts down.
    1. Vive originally released with 100% FULLY FUNCTIONAL motion controllers, period. They are not stand-in. If you don’t like how they feel then use your freedom to go buy someone else’s.

    2. When Oculus Rift was complete, Touch motion controllers were not. They decided to release without them. That was Oculus’ prerogative.

    3. Both HTC and Oculus will continue to release new HMD’s and controllers with new designs and tech until they go bankrupt. Buying in at this phase is called being an “early adopter” and will definitely be the time of most cost and largest change.

    4. If Vive come out with newer controllers at a later date, they will be unnecessary to buy for original purchasers so it does not increase the total cost of owning a Vive system to $1000. It will be your choice if you want a newer set of controllers.

    5. After the new controllers come out, if you have never bought a Vive before and you buy a Vive HMD with included motion controllers, the price will almost guaranteed be the same as before. $800. No increase in cost.

    When the original Xbox came out, it had huge unwieldy controllers. These 100% fully functional controllers were larger and not as ergonomic as early adopters would have liked and so they voiced their concern. Xbox then released more compact controllers that are the predecessors of the ones we know today. Does this story sound familiar? Keep in mind that PS4 and Xbox still have a fantastic rivalry to this day, which helps keep innovation high and costs low.

    • Get Schwifty!

      You can’t escape the fact they released knowing they were working on a different model and the wands were in fact stand-ins, and current folks who bought in will now have to pony up.

      If you purely count folks doing this it is a larger number by a small margin of Oculus folks. Now, my point again is, dont criticize Oculus for waiting to release a more polished design as though they somehow suck for doing so and messed up. They gave consumers a lower cost of entry with a better controller in short order; Vive pushed an inferior stand-in design out the door to grab market knowingly and then count on the “gimme tech nowz” contingent to go along which apparently they are all too happy to do.

      I disagree with nothing you said, but you are leaving out the fact that a very vocal number of Vive users have constantly waved the wands in peoples faces while Oculus folks were willing to wait for what is turning out to be a superior controller setup and when you factor in the extra costs for existing Vive users, a better value as well, even with a paltry $79 USD for a third camera.

      No one is disagreeing with innovation or moving forward, but its very telling that people have blinders on when they won’t (can’t) hold Vive to the same standards they are all too willing to criticize Oculus over. Had Oculus made a move like this they would be roundly criticized as just trying to grab the market and sell controllers twice; Vive does it and its nothing but rainbows.

      • David Herrington

        So tell me this, how long should HTC wait before iterating a controller design that is 100% FULLY FUNCTIONAL. Is there a standard amount of acceptable time that you will allow them to release their own products? I hope you don’t think that these controllers will come out in the next few months…. these are prototypes.

        These controllers will likely be available 1+ year from the time they released the original 100% fully functional motion Vive controllers. Is that an acceptable time frame for you? It seems to work well for Apple….

        Likely they will release with Vive 2.0, because that is what a conscientious VR company does. Release VR HMD’s with fully functional motion controllers.

        • Jim Cherry

          Do you guys think this will be ready for spring 2017 or will we see vive try to align their releases with consoles and wait till fall 2017.

          • David Herrington

            Mainly we haven’t seen anything about HMD from Vive so its impossible to say anything at this point. Even if they were close to being done with a new HMD, we won’t know anything about it until after the holiday season so they can maximize their profits from the original HMD.

            If I had to make a guess though, I would think it will be Summer-Fall 2017 before they release anything else (HMD or controller).

      • Bruce Wayne

        Most technology products are released with the next model already in the works.

        • Get Schwifty!

          Well obviously. The point it is, we have the so-called “bad company” who has the restraint to sell a significantly better solution at a lower cost while working out a better design, and the “good company” who opted to push out a stand-in design to grab market and counts on the phone model, ie. constant upgrades to get by (talk about potential for fragmentation). And by the way, I am not the first person to observe this, its been pointed out months ago by other commentators on other sites besides R2VR’s contributors.


        I think this model will be rather good for VR. Valve tear forward developing and releasing things as soon as they can which pushes Oculus to innovate to stay on the cutting edge. I don’t doubt the Vive has pushed Oculus into supporting room scale which I am very grateful for.

        • Get Schwifty!

          Hmmm… not sure its accurate to say “pushed”… Oculus made a conscious decision (which I personally disagree with) to push seated/standing experiences first. I think they realized they misread the marketing impact of room-scale as a sales point, so in that sense I guess you could say they were “pushed” by Vive’s reception as a result. I suspect more than a few Vive owners dont really utilize room scale, but either don’t post or dont care to admit it, and in fact play the majority of the time in seated/standing style. Make no mistake, even with 2 cameras with slightly less tracking in certain circumstances Rift + Touch definitely does what people call “room scale” well enough for games like Job Simulator, etc.

          Oculus had always planned on room scale as a segment of the market, but they didn’t feel the market was receptive, and truth is it may not be. If you look at the numbers, sales are very low for both platforms, and it seems to be around a 60/40 split between Vive and Oculus (I don’t believe taking Steam numbers reflects it as well as relative sales seem to). Growth forward might very well be what Oculus suspected, people who want VR but are not (yet) going to devote a space to it, so they are introducing layers of it to get people going. Time will tell.

          • Paulo Martel

            As a Vive owner and one reading the relevant user forums, I do think that most people buying the Vive are using it in room-scale mode. This is a very expensive piece of technology (specially if you factor in the high-end PC cost), and most early adopters made an informed purchase. People know that one of the strongest points of the Vive is room-scale VR, and are buying it to enjoy that. I would think that most people who can afford the tech at this stage will be able to free a 2.5×1.5 space in their livings rooms. I am not saying that you can’t have a great seated experience with the VIVE, but IMHO you would be making the wrong purchase if that’s all you want.


      My friends and I loved the original xBox controller. It was great for the male 20years+ audience with larger hands. Possibly not so great for younger teenagers and women.

      • David Herrington

        Haha, I totally agree. I have friends today that prefer the larger controllers!

    • That’s an excellent breakdown of the status quo David. However I’d take issue with two points:

      1) The issue isn’t just that early adopters may or may not want to buy the newer controllers (or even that they may be backwards compatible), the issue would be that any new functionality (i.e. analogue grasp via capacitive / other sensors) will need to be developed specifically for in order to offer a worthwhile additive addition. Which means that,either games will adopt a two tier approach (digital grasp / not grasp for older controllers) or the new functionality will be simply under used.

      2) The redesigned XBox controllers had no new functional aspects to them, they were identical save for the smaller form factor. That’s not analogous to this situation where a new significant feature has been added.

      Incidentally you’re spot on with the rest, this is indeed early adopter territory and as VR is such a new technology, there’s no way we’d want to stifle innovation and progress in these early days. But at the same time, these are consumer products now and each company is working hard to build a platform on which customers can build a library of content.

      At some point innovation may have to be sacrificed to give developers a stable target and consumers confidence they’re not going to need to reinvest every 6-12 months. If VR is to break orbit with the mainstream, eventually it probably has to start playing by the rules or forever be stuck in an Early Adopter state.

      • David Herrington

        I agree about it being necessary to sacrifice innovation for the sake of stability. It doesn’t make sense to totally redesign your whole VR system every year from scratch.

        In the past, consoles like PlayStation and Xbox got away with drastic major change in their systems by only releasing every 7 years or so. But companies like Apple have almost perfected the yearly release by keeping nearly all functionality as previous models and only adding new functionality. In Apple’s case the changes are usually so small that new features are usually under utilized (as you have said they could be.) And software developers really do have to develop specifically to utilize these new features (like fingerprint recognition for logging in)

        It appears it will be necessary for HTC to work with developers to streamline any updates and possibly utilize a 2 tiered approach until Vive 2.0 eventually releases a couple years from now.

  • gerton shref

    looks pretty awesome to be honest.

  • AndyP

    Great to see the rapid progression of the hardware (though my bank manager won’the agree!), but I’m much, much more concerned that the software is gluing my feet to the floor.

  • AndyP

    Love all the information, but had probably enough of the zero-sum arguments.

  • Ugur

    I find this great, i look forward to developing things for this asap.

    I find the whole fight between Oculus and Vive fans bad for all of us. Both have different pros and cons (i have both and develop for both) but that there are two strong ones pushing things forward is great for all of us.

    No need to downtalk every bit of news relating to “the contender”.
    Be happy that there are many great minds pushing to progress this forward.
    The more, the better.

    When i read comments in the vein that these controllers show that Valve (overly) rushed the first version to market or it would be bad that they released things while having other things in the pipeline, well, i can only shake my head.

    First: the first Valve Vive controllers are great.
    Could they be improved? Of course, everything can be.
    But anyone who talks them down has probably not seen how good the tracking is and how great 1:1 interaction with it can be.

    Anyone who halfway has an idea of device and technology design in general should know that any big enough company designing and creating things usually has several prototypes and if they are halfway good, a plan for the next few years if not already initial prototypes for the next few iterations.

    Releasing what they have consumer ready now instead of the first thing 5 years later is is not to cheat people in some way, but usually due to some things taking longer to flesh out or be able to produce in affordable price ranges and well, why not release the nice thing they have ready now and work onwards on things for the next iteration then?

    Just as example, take the OC3 talk by Abrash (which was great), where he laid out things he expects and doesn’t expect for the next 5 years.
    Of course these companies try to prototype many things, like for example eye tracking to be able to do foveated rendering.
    That future stuff is being worked on doesn’t mean it was a bad idea to release the current devices, we can enjoy them now and be happy when the next better version gets released once ready.

    The one thing i’d like if Oculus and Valve consider is if they could do an upgrade program where one can swap older hardware with newer one (maybe with paying something on top depending on the state of the returned hardware) so they can iterate faster and people are less complaining about “having to upgrade” and those who want the latest bleeding edge iteration can upgrade easier and those who want to pay less and are ok with a gen or two older can then get refurbished devices cheaper.

  • RockstarRepublic


  • I like the wands as they are now. The only thing I thought was nice about the Touch was it’s ability to detect your thumb and pointer finger placement. That’s the only reason why I’m considering getting them. They didn’t add any finger detection, they just warped them around the hand.

    The only thing I really dislike about the wands are those touchpads. Why is a joystick so hard? What is Valve’s obsession with touchpads?? For sightless controls, like the kind you NEED in VR, you need tactical feedback. A physical joystick gives you that tatical response.

    • JustNiz

      I actually prefer the touchpads since you don’t have to re-find the stick after everytime you take your finger off it.

  • Holger Fischer

    In the age of chaos two factions battle for dominance – welcome to the world of VR-craft.
    Let’s make peace and end the discussion, which is ‘better’. Just accept that every buyer is quite happy with his or hers purchase. For those who haven’t decided yet, have a look at facts with respect to the current availability of components.

    Both systems are quite similar with respect to display and latency. This is a draw.

    With the wands in the package, the Vive leads in respect of ‘getting the most out of VR from the start’ and this includes the sacred ‘roomscale’ which is only related to the controllers. The roomscale for the head position is covered by the rift as well.

    The Rift comes with headphones, the Vive with earplugs. Plus in comfort for the Rift.

    The absolute price for the Rift is lower. Granted, you have to be content with regular input devices.

    Some games are exclusive to the Oculus store, some games on steam can only be played with the Vive controllers. Also a draw in the current situation.

    So choose your poison, and expect to be blamed for it by those who always have to critizise.

    Excuse my english, I am not a native speaker.

    • JustNiz

      > The Rift comes with headphones, the Vive with earplugs. Plus in comfort for the Rift.

      Not really since the rif’ts headphones and the earbuds you get with the vive are both pretty cheap, so most people who care about sound quality quickly switch to using their own earplugs/headphones anyway.

  • brandon9271

    Just make some VR gloves and be done with it. We need full finger tracking. We have the technology ;)

    • JustNiz

      Nah they only need to track the middle finger.

  • Disqusted

    How is it so damn hard to realise that we just need AND want wearable VR peripherals as an optional Vive/ORCV/OSVR accessory? Haptics or exoskeleton, I just want some sort of feedback in games. Considering my FPS games alone run around 20 completely different weapons platforms and action-based hand/vehicular locomotion how is so hard to envision a generic, wearable, commercial controller for VR. Far Cry frequently uses several platforms in the span of a few minutes. Leaving it to Kickstarter campaigns and tech startups the project either doesn’t make it to market or isn’t as intended. VR IMU-based shoes would be a critical product as well, begetting: auto/manual/sequential transmissions, rudder pedals, sports sims, movement.

  • Wow Really?

    why are there no cupcakes?