The Oculus Touch Is Coming Out In December For $199

Oculus Touch, the handheld VR controllers that let you throw balls and knives at things that don’t exist, will come out on December 6. The whole kit costs $199 and includes two sensors needed to detect the controllers. Of course, if you want to play in a bigger space you might need another sensor – and that’s another $79. Not to mention that you will then be dragging wires all over your living room as if you’re setting traps for rabbits. This was all announced at the Oculus Connect 3 conference. But how many games will there be? And what will they be? Well, come with me and I’ll tell you.

There’ll be 35 games. That is, 35 which are Touch-capable, on top of those already available. Some of them even look good (click on these links to see some trailers). There’s Arktika.1, a shooter from the developers of Metro 2033, set in a frozen facility that looks to be overrun by mutant nasties. Then there’s Lone Echo, a sci-fi spacewalking adventure that looks a lot like a more futuristic Gravity, with your robot character cutting panels open with lasers and grabbing calmly onto the handrails of a space station before things inevitably go spacewrong. Meanwhile, Robo Recall from Epic Games is an on-rails (on-the-spot?) first-person shooter with silly robots. A software developer announced this robot murder-em-up with a parody tech ad, featuring calm voices and tranquil music and white backgrounds, perhaps lacking the self-awareness he was speaking at a technology conference full of exactly the same utopian rhetoric.

There were also some glimpses of what Oculus is working on next – a prototype wireless VR headset was briefly shown, with Marky Zucks saying he hoped this product, when it finally gets made, will lie somewhere between the kind of VR headset which you slot your mobile phone into and the full-fat cyber-noose of a PC headset.

For now, there were a few other features Oculus wanted to share. There was an avatar editor that gives users a floating bust and lets you dress it up. You can go to a dressing room and put on aviators and scarves and then cover yourself in weird metallic paint so you look like a memorial to all those who died in Top Gun. You can then meet up in virtual spaces innovatively called ‘Rooms’ which are places where you can watch videos with pals or play poker or other games together. One image during the conference showed a man playing pool with another virtual person, who was holding a virtual drink in his virtual hand for reasons yet to be understood.

The Oculus Touch was delayed earlier this year. So early adoptnerds will be glad to see it come out in time for them to splurdge their Christmas bonus on it. In the meantime, I may be full of snark for VR but it certainly looks like Silicon Valley is getting behind it. The main question in my mind remains whether the entry price is too high for Joe Videogames. I would certainly love to stick my head into Elite: Dangerous or have a go at shooting those funny robots, but the cost of the kit makes me break down into hysterical laughter. And it’s my job to get into this stuff. Despite one developer during the conference insisting that the line-up of games is not made of ‘tech demos’, that is precisely what each of them looks like to me – not enough to justify the sky-high price. What do you think? When will VR really take off? Will it ever? Tell me because I don’t know.


  1. crazyd says:

    Goddamn the VR coverage here is terrible. Why do you even post about it if the staff here hates it so much? Just focus on the stuff you actually care about, and your content will probably be better.

    • djvecchitto says:

      You absolutely have to consider price when discussing the merits of any consumer item. We’re talking about $200 controllers for a $600 headset that requires a $1000+ computer. Sure it might be fun, but does the experience justify dropping $2000 or more in total?

      • Sakkura says:

        It doesn’t require a $1000 computer. And over 10 million people already have a VR-capable computer.

      • kael13 says:

        They reduced the minimum requirements thanks to some fancy tech. It only requires a $500 computer now. (Nvidia 960)

        • Sakkura says:

          Even then, the old min specs only required about $750 (well, “only”).

    • laiwm says:

      The hype train doesn’t call at this station.

      • Thirith says:

        I agree with the first post. It’s one thing to be critical or unconvinced, but I’ve found some VR coverage on RPS (not all, but most, at least since the release) dismissive, and that is a different thing from being critical. It’s very different from what I think is the general attitude towards game on RPS, namely one of excitement about the potential of the medium while wishing it to be as much as it can be. Too much of the VR coverage here goes in the direction of seen-it-all snark, and that I can get elsewhere. I agree that if RPS is so clearly not particularly interested and considers it a fad only, then why not write about things that interest them more?

        • Emeraude says:

          Here’s the thing though: for many of of us, they still haven’t given anything more than vague promises that it would be awesome (and yes I’ve tested the thing, and no, I certainly wasn’t a automatic convert, as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t make games better for the most part… hell, for some I would argue it would make things worse). And for those of us old enough we heard the same promises the first time around, and they don’t sound any more true now.

          And I’m not even in the VR is a fad camp, from many’s point of view, I’m probably worse. I’m thinking VR is nothing more but a niche. A promising one. But a niche nonetheless.

          • crazyd says:

            No, it doesn’t make existing games better, but that’s not the point. It’s a whole different way of interacting, with it’s own positives and negatives. Games designed for VR are awesome experiences (and I mean that they inspire awe), but it’s not something that can be just directly compared to traditional gaming, because it’s a very different thing.

          • Emeraude says:

            No, it doesn’t make existing games better, but that’s not the point.

            It’s definitely not the point, but I’m going to take a step further, I think it’s not going to make games better. Period.

            The tech has a narrow but potentially powerful but relatively narrow scope, and gaming is secondary in that, rather insignificant.

            Other things are going to benefit from it, but gaming? Very little I would say, and really most by way of technological cross-pollination.

            We’re just the targeted launch platform by way of technological enthusiasm. But far from the end game.

            So yeah, I could see why a site that’s supposedly about gaming since 1873 (and I can prove it, I was there when the first head got blown off! I saw it all!) would have some reservations.

          • Thirith says:

            How is niche worse than fad? E-sports are a niche. Simulators are a niche. That’s the cool thing about PC gaming especially: it’s much easier to cater for niches, and that’s where a lot of experimentation and innovation happens, but also the refining of ideas and systems that aren’t mainstream.

            I don’t think VR is going to replace regular gaming, it I don’t think it needs to in order to be interesting. I don’t find e-sports very interesting, but it’s cool that TPS reports on them without being glib and dismissive. Between the lines, so many of these articles here on VR seem to say, “How could *anyone* find this interesting?”, and IMO that’s a bad look for RPS. I prefer the RPS that keeps an open mind about all expressions of video games, at least to begin with. Even in order to be properly critical, you can’t just dismiss.

          • crazyd says:

            Dude, it ALREADY opens up new options for interactions in gaming that weren’t possible before. Stop thinking “better”, because that has nothing to do with it. It’s different, though. Traditional games don’t work in VR, and good VR games don’t work with traditional setups. It’s not better, and it’s not worse. It’s a completely different thing.

          • Emeraude says:

            How is niche worse than fad?

            Fad implies it can hit it big, even if it won’t be for long. Niche implies it won’t. In some respects some people might find it worse.

            It’s different, though.

            Certainly. And as I said, I’m finding the applications so far pretty narrow – I’d equate what I’ve seen of VR for now more with motion detection, the light gun, or the DS’s dual screens. Opens interesting options. Not going to be the revolution some people seem to want it to be.

            At least not for games.

        • Fiatil says:

          Agreed here too. The tone is kind of overwhelming. I’ve been reading this website for a long time, and I get that snark is part of the culture, but damn. Every article is soaked in an “I’m superior to you because I didn’t waste my money on your silly VR toy” tone for some reason.

          I’m just not used to RPS being so down on a thing that is so very PC gaming. It’s like if every hardware article spent a paragraph laughing at people who spend lots of money on their PC.

          Since when is a new peripheral being kind of expensive and needing a beefy rig to use such a terrible thing? It’s cool if you don’t like it! The authors here were among everyone else breathlessly describing their amazing life changing roomscale experiences, did it get THAT much worse? It reminds me of the early disdainful e sports articles before Pip got here, with the key difference of this website being all aboard the VR hype train originally. Are we all still really mad that the Rift didn’t cost $300?

        • laiwm says:

          I don’t think their VR coverage has been hugely negative though? It’s mainly excitement for its potential, tinged with disappointment that RPS staffers still can’t enjoy VR without suffering headaches. That’s the big blocker, it’s not about it being a fad or expensive – the tech just isn’t up to scratch yet.

          • Nogo says:

            I’m a little baffled at what people are apparently reading here.

            The RPS coverage does seem a bit dismissive, but that’s kinda where VR is at. Interesting, but ultimately worth dismissing for now.

            It’s the same attitude I see from people who own the darn things.

          • frightlever says:

            What Nogo said. Basically there aren’t all that many excited Rift and Vive owners left any more. It’ll start to shift once the PSVR starts dragging bigger developers into the mix, or indeed once some of the meatier projects start showing up.

            I’ve always said that Xmas 2017 is going to be the big year for VR. Well, not always, but I’ve been saying it since about 2015. I’m not bloody Nostradamus.

    • sethendal says:

      Sometimes your opinion and someone else’s opinion will be different. When this happens, take a breath and realize that everything is ok.

      Reject thoughts of conspiracy and bias and use what is called empathy to weigh this opposing opinion. If afforded time, simply list the points of which you disagree in a calm and objective manner.

      This is called being an adult and while it requires patience and a mastery of emotions, it often results in a compromise of opinion.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Iamblichos says:

    I bought into the hype to the extent that I got a Samsung Gear VR to go with my $700 phone. After dropping $800 on the experience, comparable to the Vive or Oculus + Touch thingy, I am dramatically underwhelmed by the apps available and the quality. It’s high on the ‘gee whiz’ factor, but hardly what I would call prime-time ready.

    • Jokerme says:

      I bought a Google Cardboard and had enough amusement. It was nice while it lasted. Now that there is nothing worth buying Oculus or Vive, I’m done.

    • Fiatil says:

      I think the Gear VR is pretty sweet if you look at it as a $100 purchase. If you go out and buy the phone for it, and spend the extra $100, it’s definitely not worth it. If you already have a Galaxy s6 or 7 or were already planning on getting one, it’s a pretty sweet toy for $100.

      Also, it’s a very very different experience from the Vive if we’re looking at it that way. The experiences and games you will be able to do on either one are vastly different, to the point of what you would expect the differences between a $100 headset running on a $600 phone vs. an $800 headset running on a $900 PC to be.

  3. Fry says:

    VR seems to be on the way to a 3DTV-style death, and it don’t think that’s got a lot to do with the price. I encourage them to try again when they’ve got the gear down to the size of a large pair of sunglasses.

    • Sakkura says:

      Ah yes, no VR discussion is complete without the luddites making the bad comparison with 3D.

      • Fry says:

        Actually a pretty good comparison. The industry pushing something and failing to understand why people aren’t very interested. If you read what’s going on as “it’s too expensive”, you’re not getting it. VR tech is half-baked.

        Not to say it won’t ever be possible, but as it exists now it’s not very compelling.

        • Sakkura says:

          No, it’s not a good comparison. 3D didn’t really add much to the experience, and you didn’t have anyone asking for it. VR adds HUGELY to the experience (transforms it, really), and you have a crowd of people asking for it (so much so that one of them went out and built a prototype that ended up kickstarting this VR wave).

          VR is half-baked but already very compelling.

          • MajorLag says:

            If it were that compelling I don’t think there would be so many people having to defend it on internet message boards.

          • Sakkura says:

            What kind of logic is that. If people defend it, they must be wrong because they need to defend it? Utter tosh.

          • MajorLag says:

            I guess what I’m saying is, if it is so great, then why are so many people saying “you know, this isn’t that great” and then other people jump out of the woodwork to aggressively insist that those people have a screw loose and it really is very great.

            It’s a very defensive defense. As though they are personally affronted that someone disagrees with their assessment. Almost as though they’re really trying to convince themselves…

            But hey, like the rest of you I’m just some idiot on the internet, so what do I know.

        • zarthrag says:

          No, it’s a *terrible* comparison. 3DTV was a gimmick to move pricey TVs and movie tickets. It didn’t do anything for gaming, and the movies didn’t work either. Plus it had a minimal “ooh” effect that actually made movies *worse*.

          VR is a platform. You can game, visualize, train, educate, …do any number of things that you cannot do as effectively on a 2D monitor (or at all).

          Try landing an aircraft, treating phobias/ptsd, previewing CAD drawingsat full-scale, viewing a 3d-scanned matterport/realtor listing, or just using your imagination to come up with a use. Nevermind what’s possible while mixing VR with AR.

          There’s a reason corporations are siging up for VR while only TV manufacturers and movie studios cared about 3dtv.

          Luddites. Damn.

          • Reapy says:

            Eh they just wont get it. I dont know why anybody would think 3dtv would be good, the whole situation for it was just straight up wrong. Yeah the industry did try to shove it down your throat, just like wii motion controls and kinect, but VR is different, because it offers something different.

            Yeah, it’s got a lot of problems. Yeah, there isn’t a lot of stuff in it, but god damn me if I’m not using my oculus almost every time I’m on my PC for a little bit, even if I’m just using virtual desktop or big screen.

            As a long time computer user I’ve always had the quest for new and different, and I still stand by that VR has been the first time in many years that the PC has been able to make me go WOW and look at things differently, even the same things I have seen on the monitor before.

            For the people that don’t care about that, VR isn’t for them, but it really has only been in the last 10 or so years that the PC has been widely adopted.

            The people that don’t get the appeal of developing VR farther are the same people that would have been calling me a nerd in the 80’s, they didn’t get it then, they won’t get it now, and that’s fine, it isn’t for everybody.

    • kael13 says:

      Entirely different experience, friendo.

  4. kael13 says:

    Mild correction, Oculus Touch comes with one extra sensor, you already own one with the headset itself.

  5. Don Reba says:

    Ugh, Arktika.1 is an Oculus exclusive. Why, 4A, why? :\

    • Sakkura says:

      Wouldn’t have gotten made without Oculus money/support.

      • Don Reba says:

        I’d be ok with them using that time to make something else. It’s not like they would have sat idle without Oculus’ support.

        • SingularityParadigm says:

          Crazy thought here…maybe the idea of working on a VR project was a compelling interesting prospect for the the decision makers and all of the rest of the employees at the company? Also, they have a second game they are working on that is not VR.

          I would suggest that you should stop expecting VR games (especially first-person ones that use positionally tracked controllers) to also be playable outside of VR. They have totally different design requirements that for the most part do not overlap.

  6. Sakkura says:

    As for your final question, 2016 is the year modern VR first reached retail. My expectation is that 2017 will be a rocky transition year, and 2018 will be the year high-quality VR really takes off.

    Mobile VR is going to do its own thing, hardware numbers have arguably already taken off, but the hardware quality needs to improve.

  7. Kefren says:

    While it is expensive I can see local shops being set up to let you play on a kit in an ideal environment. We have one here, and I had my first experience of VR last week at link to (Aberystwyth, Wales, UK) – took my family, great fun, we laughed a lot. A handy way to try it out – lots of fun experiences, and the feeling of “being there” is as good as I’d hoped. I defended a castle with a bow and arrow, went on a rollercoaster, and blocked fireballs in time with Gangnam Style. We also shot zombies and went to the bottom of the sea. This kind of short experience of it is great – you don’t get bored and nothing wears out its welcome, it is social, and doesn’t cost a fortune.

    • Jediben says:

      This. If you can’t experience it you won’t buy it at the price point offered.

    • lglethal says:

      So what your saying is that the tech is perfect to create the new Amusement Arcade? I can actually see that being a good use of the tech. Far more so then household gaming…

      I just hope we don’t get Virtual Virtual Skeeball (from Futurama link to

  8. milligna says:

    Maybe it’s time to have someone to do dedicated VR coverage who knows what they are talking about. If you can manage smart, informed IF coverage — surely VR deserves the same.

  9. Wyrm says:

    Would not buy anything from Oculus anyway. Palmer Luckey can suck it.

    link to

  10. frightlever says:

    “Not to mention that you will then be dragging wires all over your living room as if you’re setting traps for rabbits.”

    Christ, not so much as a “TRIGGER WARNING” for John Walker.