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Facebook's Oculus Announces Rift VR Headset, Launching in Q1 '16

Alex Spencer

OculusFacebook-owned Oculus has announced the first consumer model of its VR headset, the Oculus Rift.

Following on from a series of developer kits released over the past few years, the finalised version of the Rift will launch in Q1 2016. As well promising an improved ergonomic design – specifically intended to be more comfortable for glasses wearers than previous models – it adds an external sensor for tracking movement which can be placed on a nearby surface, and an integrated pair of headphones which promise immersive 360° audio.

If unveiling the headset at annual games event E3 wasn't enough of an indication of Oculus' target demographic, the announcement itself made clear that the focus remains firmly on gamers – something that looked set to change when Facebook acquired the company. Oculus announced a $10m fund for developers creating games for the Rift, and that it will package every Rift headset with an Xbox One wireless controller as the primary means of user interaction

Oculus Touch
However, the Xbox controller isn't the only input method Oculus has planned for the Rift. It also unveiled Oculus Touch, a unique pair of wireless motion controllers, one for each hand.

As well as the traditional thumbsticks, buttons and triggers, the Touch features sensors which can detect finger poses like pointing, waving, or a thumbs-up. There is also haptic feedback, which Oculus promises will let users feel the virtual items they 'touch' in their hands.

The Touch is set to launch in 'the first half of 2016', though it's not clear whether this means they'll be out in time for the Rift's initial launch or follow shortly afterwards.