Oculus revealed Touch, their VR motion controllers, all the way back in June of 2015, but didn’t commit to shipping the controllers until the second half of 2016. Since the announcement, the controller has seen several design permutations, but Oculus says the controller is nearly complete, and better than ever.

At Gamescom 2016 this week in Germany, Jason Rubin, Oculus Head of Content, told us that the company’s much anticipated Touch VR controllers have improved over time and are nearly complete. He confirmed that the version we saw at E3 was the near-final iteration.

“…at E3 we shipped a new version of Touch that has better tracking, greater distance from the sensors,” he said. “It’s pretty much the final iteration. We’re doing little tweaks always, but we’re pretty much there.”

oculus touch new feature design (1)

Exactly how much the controller has improved since the first ever ‘Half Moon’ prototype was revealed back in 2015 is unclear, but Oculus has insisted from the beginning that the controllers are capable of ‘room-scale’ tracking like that of the HTC Vive, even if the company isn’t focusing on that type of usage out of the gate.

As for the release date of Touch (which we know will be coming before the end of the year) and price, Rubin is still quiet, but teased, “Oculus Connect 3… that would be a great place to make some sort of announcement.” (Don’t worry, we’ll be there to find out).

prototype shot oculus touch
See Also: Here’s a Look at Just a Few of Oculus Touch’s 300 Prototypes

When we tried the latest version of Oculus Touch at E3 2016, we found subtle changes to the controller’s button placements and design. The controller’s ergonomics, slightly refined from earlier prototypes, are still impressive and class-leading by most accounts. This seems to be due not only to the shape of the controller, but also it’s size and close center of gravity.

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Earlier this year, Oculus confirmed that Touch would be bundled with Medium—the company’s virtual sculpting tool—and see more than 30 games at launch, with “hundreds of additional Touch titles in development…”

Additional reporting by Scott Hayden.

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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."
  • Kasper Arnklit Frandsen

    I seem to remember that they committed to releasing the controllers in the first half of 2016, but changed it to second half of 2016.

    • John Lee Clair

      Would you rather have a rushed version of Touch, or let them take the time to release a “completed” version?

      • Kasper Arnklit Frandsen

        No I’m OK with waiting, especially because it seems the software lineup will be better, but that doesn’t change that that was what they said E3 2015, so the article is wrong when it says “Oculus revealed Touch, their VR motion controllers, all the way back in June of 2015, but didn’t commit to shipping the controllers until the second half of 2016.”

        • John Lee Clair

          Sorry, I thought you were getting upset about the delay, not the inaccuracy of the article. Flame on!

  • Tehen

    Shouldn’t they have starting making them in factories already if they want to have enough stock ready for launch day later this year?

    • Neo Racer

      lololoololololollool remember the CV1 launch? Ya….

      • Wow, grow up lol.

      • Tehen

        Spending months on reddit elaborating theories and shipping estimates from order times in seconds (found in the source code of the order page) plus order number was some kind of special fun I had never thought I would experiment :D . (I was a #31)

        But I would prefer not to live that again with the launch of Touch.

    • Get Schwifty!

      Let’s be honest, they haven’t sold that many OR’s yet, just like there really aren’t that many Vives in the world, these are not cars after all but relatively cheap consumer electronics. They certainly already have agreements set up for production, and most of the machine work design for it is already done. Not unusual at all for last minute tweaks before final run for production. If they are selling OR’s in Europe by September 20th with demo units available for Touch as stated, then effectively speaking they will be running production starting at least a month before then and up to a release probably in mid to late November.

  • Sebastien Mathieu

    can’t wait… the experience is really lacking without tracked controller…. I almost exclusively play my VIVE because of that… my rift is collecting dust until the touch…

  • Ombra Alberto

    CV1 it is fun thus. With the Oculus Touch will be complete.

  • James Friedman

    Yeah I have been hesitant to show friends and family that are skeptical of VR my Rift because I want them to be able to do the things that others with a Vive can do. I can’t wait to get the email saying order now. It would be cool if they could package it all up for $150 extra

  • DiGiCT Ltd

    Hopefully they work as they promised so we can add out game also to Rift users.
    It is 100% depending on tracked controlers.
    Currently only vive and PSVR are availalbe, oculus should release them soon as they make the product more complete.

  • Avi

    Release date on Amazon is December 31. Second half, true, but …