We already knew that Oculus' Touch controllers, which give you hands inside virtual worlds, wouldn't be shipping alongside the Rift in Q1, but today the Facebook-owned company announced a delay in the ship date for the wireless accessories.
In a blog post today, Oculus announced that the Oculus Touch release date has slipped into the second half of 2016, creating a wider gap between Rift launch and Touch launch (now a bare minimum of more than three months). The Rift is still on track for a Q1 launch, with pre-order info and an exact ship date possibly coming next week at CES 2016.
The delay shouldn't be a setback for the Oculus Rift or virtual reality in general. The Rift launch titles we've played all center around a more traditional gaming experience, using the wireless Xbox One controller that will be bundled with the Rift. Oculus only announced Touch last June – developers are still just getting their feet wet creating games and experiences built around the new controllers.
If you haven't seen Oculus Touch, imagine a more advanced pair of Wii nunchuks (those were Nintendo's smaller, secondary controllers, not the larger wand-like Wiimotes), only with sensor-laden rings wrapping around their edges. It's tailored for first-person experiences: it lets you simultaneously "have hands" for things like opening doors, gripping objects and pulling triggers, as well as traditional controls, including dual analog sticks and action buttons.
Based on our Oculus Touch hands-ons, we think it's clear this will be a must-have accessory for Rift owners. But without content built from the ground-up for Touch right out of the gates, Oculus Touch would just be a neat pair of paperweights. Right now continuing to get the accessory into the hands of developers is the most important thing.
Stay tuned to Gizmag for all the VR news out of CES next week (and for our most recent impressions, you can revisit our latest Oculus Rift/Touch hands-on).