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Oculus Will Be Bundled With Xbox One Gamepad, Motion Controllers Also Coming

The news from Oculus VR's pre-E3 event in San Francisco Thursday morning.

Eric Johnson for Re/code

We still don’t know how much the Oculus Rift will cost when it comes out in Q1 2016.

But at a press event today in San Francisco, the Facebook-owned virtual reality company shared some new details about its virtual reality headset, including how users will interact with software.

 Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe shows off the Oculus Rift at a press event in San Francisco.
Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe shows off the Oculus Rift at a press event in San Francisco.
Kurt Wagner

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, who recently spoke at the Code Conference, showed off the slimmer, fabric-wrapped headset, which will feature some previously unannounced features asked for by developers and early-adopter gamers. Notably: Bundled in every box will be a wireless Xbox One controller and adapter for Windows 10.

Microsoft previously announced that it will let gamers stream games from the Xbox One to Windows 10, and Xbox head Phil Spencer noted that that feature will carry over to the Rift.

It looks like those leaked concept images of the consumer model, which first confirmed that a traditional gamepad would be bundled in the box, were only partially right.

The external sensor pointing at Rift users, which tracks their positions, will indeed be mounted on a minimalist microphone pole that you put on your desk rather than clipping it to a monitor, which was the case with the most recent developer prototype. However, gone is the front-facing camera spotted on the headset itself, which VR watchers speculated might be used for another form of input, hand-tracking.

Instead, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said the Rift will accomplish hand-tracking in another way: It will be bundled with a pair of handheld controllers, called Oculus Touch. Clutched between the thumb and index finger, and with a Wii-like wrist strap, Touch will let “you use these controllers effortlessly, like you do in the real world.”

Update: The headline for an earlier version of this article said Oculus Touch will be bundled with the Rift. As Luckey later clarified on Twitter, the motion controllers will be launching separately from the consumer version:

Kurt Wagner

Iribe confirmed something VR developers have been wondering for a while: They will be able to make both seated and standing experiences. For years, the company’s official line was that “the Oculus Rift is a seated experience,” even after it started showing off standing demos at conferences and to press.

Also new: A dial on the bottom of the headset that lets users adjust the distance of the Rift’s lenses from their eyes, which is said to improve comfort, especially for users with glasses.

Oculus also announced some of the first games that will launch with the Rift and be available on its app store, Oculus Home. Oculus will invest $10 million in independent game development, head of developer strategy Anna Sweet said.

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