Nate Mitchell, Oculus co-founder and head of VR product at Facebook, revealed that a number of Touch controllers for Quest and Rift S hold an unintended hidden message inside, something he calls “inappropriate.”

Although Mitchell admits in a tweet that hidden messages made them to what he calls “tens of thousands” of internal developer units, an unspecified number of production controllers are already on their way to retail including the messages “This Space For Rent” and “The Masons Were Here.”

Some units that made it out to developers read: “Big Brother is Watching,” and “Hi iFixit!”

Image created with photo courtesy Oculus

Mitchell explains in a followup tweet that while he appreciates Easter eggs, the messages were “inappropriate and should have been removed. The integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, and we’ve fixed the process so this won’t happen again.”

While we haven’t seen the guts of the new Touch controllers to confirm, the single photo of the message “This Space For Rent” appears to be a small ribbon cable, possibly similar to the one found on the original Touch controllers leading to the main PCB. Alternatively, it could be a rubber gasket, although there’s no telling without an actual peek inside the controllers.

The original Oculus Touch, Image courtesy iFixit

Considering both Rift S and Quest come bundled with the same Touch controller, users buying either product could find a hidden message when cracking them open for a look. If the new Touch controllers are anything like the last though, accessing the internals could take what iFixit says in their original tear down a battle against “a thick layer of adhesive.”

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As far as hidden messages go they all seem fairly innocuous, although even in jest, hinting at the possibility that Facebook is actively watching you every move like “Big Brother,” or has anything to do with the Freemasons, a group often cited in conspiracy theories, probably isn’t a good look for the company.

Whatever the case may be, it looks like a product engineer had their fun, and in the process has created a unique collectible for anyone building their future museum of interesting tech from the still very early days of consumer VR.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Very funny…unluckily we should destroy our controllers to see if we have that message…

  • Roger Bentley

    i dont care about that i just hope that the new controllers live up to the original touch controllers cause those fuckers were indestructible.

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  • Arcticu Kitsu

    This makes sense because Oculus refuses to make proper cables which don’t tangle so they could keep forcing you to buy new cables after cable. Those cables have a nasty habit of tangling and they STILL haven’t made proper anti-tangling cables. It’s simple, and they could have just copied Sony PLaystation’s PS3 USB’s braided cables…..

    But yeah, Big Brother is watching…….. BUY THEM CABLES! BUY THEM! OBEY! XD

    • Hary0n

      My cables are ok.

      • Arcticu Kitsu

        For now…..

    • Adderstone VR

      You do realise this article is about Touch Controllers right? If you get tangled in your Touch Controller’s cables you’re doing VR wrong….very very wrong.

      • Arcticu Kitsu

        “you do realize”….. You do realize I realized after I posted that and just left it there, right? So, I made a mistake. I still kept it because Oculus took things for granted and I didn’t want to delete my comment.

        Yeah, I know it’s for a touch controller but it’s still an Oculus related article so it counts.

        “YOU DO REALIZE!”…..

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Don’t know what you’re talking about, my PS3’s came with regular USB cables, nothing braided about them. Just like all devices I own which have USB cables (to charge).. And you don’t use the touch controllers with the usb-cables attached, the Vive controllers also come with regular USB cables.

      • Arcticu Kitsu

        I meant more for the headset while you guys are reading it more towards the controller. I poorly posted my comment here, but yeah. What’s done is done. I generalized here loosely taking advantage of how Oculus wants to just push things out, thus the messages. There was a sentence I was trying to refer to in this article but I forgot now…

        About the PS3 USB thing….. I guess we may have different region….. The cable I’m used to is semi-fabric (plastic) braided cables which is tough on game wear. It refuses to tangle, and etc.

        I’m aware what I said was misplaced in this article… To late to get rid of it, and was too late when I posted it, but I’m still frustrated how Oculus keeps going “Just buy more cables to replace the other one” for your headset. It’s going to keep going, even into the Rift S, and such. Controllers are fine though.

  • Michael Slesinski

    the fact that theres some twats that care about useless nonsense like this is everything wrong with the videogame industry. “fuck quality, its all about asinine pop-culture references!”

    • Hivemind9000

      Sounds like you had your sense of humor and playfulness removed at birth like Mitchell. It’s just a bit of fun, no harm done.

      • Michael Slesinski

        .. its USELESS, and while you can pretend its harmless it always costs money to add useless stuff to products. that cost gets passed on to consumers.

        • ComfyWolf

          I highly doubt it added any cost, Facebook paid a certain production cost and anything those engineers tacked on with their extra time wouldn’t have added anything to what Facebook paid, if it did they would have known right away since I’m sure they keep track of their money.

          Most likely it was simple process to tack them on with whatever machines they used to produce the parts, and if it did add any cost anywhere it would be the production company paying it and making sure that employee gets appropriate consequences so it doesn’t happen again.

          • Michael Slesinski

            it ALL adds cost. getting text on cables probably cost per character used. just like when they add some stupid “easter egg” to a game or movie somebody (who is inevitably getting paid for their time) has to CREATE the asset to put there. it doesnt magically appear.

          • Electric Lunatic

            So you think we would pay 398$ for Quest instead of 399?

          • Michael Slesinski

            sure. if you are going to give $ to scumbags like facebook, the less the better. i mean really, why have anything on the wires at all? dont be a retard and quibble about 1$, explain to me WHY they have to print idiocy on the wires at all. surely production could be streamlined if they WERENT printing stupid things on various parts of the hardware, and that amounts to savings. does it ADD to the value of the product? no, no it fucking doesnt.

          • BL

            It’s possible that the cables required some kind of printing on them anyway, in which case it would NOT have added to the cost.

          • Michael Slesinski

            no. simply having the ability to print on the cables added to the cost of the machine used to make the cables which got passed on to the over all cost of production.. also if the ink wasnt used why would they charge for it?

            what the fuck is wrong with your brains that you kids are sitting here trying so hard to justify idiocy? is there NOTHING you can better apply your efforts to? like.. maybe doing something productive with your time?

          • Tabp

            The article itself shows the text is needed for the production process, yet you lie about it and want them to remove it even though they’d lose money by listening to you. You said you hate Facebook, so you want them to lose money. You sit here throwing a fit on false pretenses, and you call this doing something productive with your time?

          • Michael Slesinski

            all that is “needed” for the production process is a couple of dots (and even that i doubt), NOT “big brother is watching” or any stupid shit like that. yet you want to talk about false pretenses?

          • Hivemind9000

            You’re an idiot. Printing text is part of the cable fabrication process. It costs nothing but the time someone wasted on their coffee break typing it in.

          • Michael Slesinski

            its not “part of the process” as you say at all. its VERY possible to make cables with zero writing, thus its obviously part of another process entirely (like the “printing things ON the cables” process). mind you my original statement was about easter eggs across the board, but you fucking retards are determined to defend wasting money on printing stupid shit on the cables. next youll tell me it didnt cost anything to put the minecraft area in borderlands 2. have you ever heard the expression “nothing in life is free”? it exists because its true, nomatter what you millennial fuckwits think.

          • Hivemind9000

            Serious anger issues grandpa. Perhaps you should keep away from the Internet and calm the fuck down.

          • Michael Slesinski

            no anger, just a grand lack of respect for stupidity. try saying something that pertains to the topic next time, you wont be looking like quite so much of a twat.

          • Jistuce

            If you want facebook to get less money, you want MORE printing on the cables. The 399 price point is not dictated by parts costs, it is chosen by marketing to look nice and pretty and comfortable. That’s why nothing costs 374.53.

          • alysdexia

            not nice < niais < nescius := not-skilled and pretty at the same time, dolt.

          • Jistuce


  • bud01

    I like the look of the Rift S Controllers, they look super comfortable for long VR sessions and have to imagine the large but forward thinking top surface will add with excellent tracking.

  • sebrk

    Marketing 101 right there.

  • Mrfox Babbit

    “send help, getting paid in coffee beans”

  • Trenix

    I already dont trust Facebook as it is. Making a joke out of them spying on us doesnt ease the distrust. Nice try facebook.

  • alysdexia

    a, anyone !-> their; 1 != 2; dolt. a -> one’s; the -> whose.