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Updated: Insomniac Games Says It's Not Using Oculus Touch Controllers, After All

VR isn't just for sci-fi geeks, Insomniac says -- and handheld controllers for VR are a game-changer.

Insomniac / Edge of Nowhere

Editor’s Note: After the publication of this story, Insomniac Games called back to tell us CEO Ted Price misspoke, and that the company is not using Oculus Touch controllers in its first VR game Edge of Nowhere as he had said. The text and quotes from the originally published article are preserved below.

Edge of Nowhere, a virtual reality title in the works from the prominent studio Insomniac Games, will be among the first games to use Oculus Rift’s motion controllers, Oculus Touch.

Insomniac CEO Ted Price confirmed the design choice in a recent interview with Re/code. He said he was bowled over by the Oculus Touch, which lets player see their hands in VR and use them more or less naturally, when he tried the controllers at this year’s E3.

“I wasn’t expecting to have as much fun as I did,” Price said. “I was expecting to have a fairly straightforward demo where I might be moving a few things around. But I came away a believer, as far as where VR can go with the addition of peripherals like capacitive controllers.”

In addition to tracking the position of the hands, Oculus Touch detects whether a user’s hand is open or closed, and the direction of the thumb and index finger. In other words, in a first-person shooter you might be able to point out approaching enemies to your team and then pick up and throw a grenade at the baddies.

Edge of Nowhere, however, is a third-person game, meaning the player in the VR headset is situated behind the main character, rather than inhabiting his head. Its E3 demo, which used an Xbox One controller, saw that character traverse a desolate, icy landscape before a run-in with some mysterious supernatural creatures.

Price first took an interest in virtual reality when arcade-like installations of VR games briefly flared up in the 1990s. But he said today’s consumers will be far more willing to take a chance on the new medium.

“The mass market is much more open to the idea of putting on a VR headset,” he said. “It isn’t something that you might see in a fringe science-fiction movie any more. It’s something that’s being talked about in mass-market media. Therefore, I believe there’ll be more acceptance among the general populace, who don’t necessarily consider themselves hardcore gamers.”

Insomniac got its start on the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 with the hit series Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet & Clank, and more recently released an Xbox One exclusive, Sunset Overdrive. Edge of Nowhere will be exclusive to the Oculus Rift, and is being published by Oculus.

The Oculus Rift VR headset is slated to debut in the first quarter of 2016. More details about its release are expected to be announced next month at the company’s conference, Oculus Connect.

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