Oculus now owns the company behind the Xbox 360 controller, original Kinect

Oculus Rift
Bulking up on hardware design

When it comes to gaming, few joysticks are beloved as much as Microsoft's controller, and now the creators of the classic hardware will help usher in a new era of virtual reality with Oculus.

Oculus VR announced the acquisition of award-winning industrial product creators Carbon Design Group, whose contributions to the Xbox 360 controller are now the stuff of legends.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the summer and comes on the heels of the two companies working closely for nearly a year on "multiple unannounced projects."

Although Carbon will become a "key component" of the Oculus product engineering group, the industrial design team will remain in its existing Seattle-area studio and work closely with the Oculus team in Redmond.

On cutting edge

Carbon Design is no stranger to consumer, industrial or medical products, having brought their designs from concept to completion over two decades with a "design-driven methodology rooted in quality engineering, ergonomics, deep user insights and rapid iteration."

With more than 50 awards under its belt, the team at Carbon now faces what it calls "one of the most interesting and challenging problem sets ever" for the consumer adoption of virtual reality.

"This is an entirely open product category. With consumer VR at its inception, the physical architectures are still unknown - we're on the cutting edge of defining how virtual reality looks, feels and functions," Carbon Design Creative Director Peter Bristol said in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

Oculus declined to comment further on the deal or how much the Facebook-owned company is paying for Carbon's hardware makers, who also contributed to the design of Microsoft's Touch Mouse as well as the original Kinect.

  • Now's a great time to bone up on the Xbox One with our full review!