Ahead of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo event next week, Oculus held a press conference in San Francisco Thursday to reveal the final design for its forthcoming virtual reality headset and to announce two updates around the device.
To start, Oculus and Microsoft have partnered up to ship a wireless Xbox One controller with every headset. The partnership also means that users will be able to stream Xbox One games to Oculus Rift.
Also, Oculus debuted a brand new controller of its own. Actually, it revealed two -- one for each hand. The Oculus Touch prototype is called "Half Moon," and it aims to make users feel like they can touch and interact with the virtual world with both hands.
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said that the inspiration for the devices came after observing thousands of users who, during an Oculus Rift demo, put their hands out in front of them as if trying to touch the virtual environment. "Half Moon" will allow users to actually feel like they're picking up objects and using them, Luckey said.
Taken together, the two announcements mean that the first generation of Oculus Rift will largely feel like a way for gamers to play their favorite Xbox One games in 3D. But Oculus also wants to assure users that it's continuing to pave the way for an even more immersive experience.
In addition to a number of existing games from partner game companies that will be adapted for the Rift, users will also be able to play new games designed specifically for the VR headset. Oculus debuted trailers for these games, including "Valkyrie" and "Chronos."
Oculus didn't reveal any new details regarding price or a release date for the Rift. The headset will ship during the first quarter of 2016, and consumers will have a chance to preorder later this year. Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has said that the Rift and a PC to power it will cost about $1,500 combined, according to The Next Web.
Iribe also showed off the new headset design, which includes an integrated audio system to ensure that sound effects are timed right. The Rift is also lightweight and wrapped in fabric, making it more comfortable Iribe said.
In August, it will be three years since Oculus's Kickstarter campaign was successfully backed by 9,522 participants with a total of more than $2.4 million dollars. Facebook acquired the startup last year for $2 billion.