The latest version of the Oculus Rift added head tracking, and next up for the VR firm could come motion controls.
CNET reports Oculus VR has been secretly working on motion controllers that will let players further immerse themselves into gaming experiences. Like the Nintendo Wii's motion-sensing Wiimotes, the Rift's VR controls are said to bring users' hands and body movements into a game.
Supposedly the extra motion controllers will complement the Oculus Rift, according to people familiar with the development process.
The new bit of technology could expand the functionality of the VR headset for games and other tasks. Facebook VP of Mobile Egineering Cory Ondrejka envisioned the Rift could be used to view movies - users swiping their hands could be a way of navigating through titles.
For now, the Oculus Rift is a head-mounted display that is responsive to head motions yet needs a separate controller and PC plug-in. With an integrated interface and motion control system, it could become a standalone device all its own.
Entering enemy territory
While motion controls could help expand the use cases and immersive experience of the Oculus Rift, it's also drawing the ire of some developers, including the VR headset's most invested partners and supports.
CNET posits over a half-dozen companies were already developing their own motion control devices to pair with Rift.
It's still not known if Oculus VR will actually reveal its own motion controller system. Even with its heavily backed Kickstarter well behind it, Oculus has yet to announce a release date for a consumer version of Rift. Much like it has with the developer editions of its VR headgear, Oculus could simply be testing the waters to see what interest there is in it developing its own control scheme - and whether someone else can do it better.
- Sony's Project Morpheus has something to say about controllers
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Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.