Oculus Rift's pre-E3 event
After three long years of waiting, Oculus Rift will be in our hands in six short months. And if that was the biggest piece of news from the VR company's pre-E3 show, that would've been enough. But the Facebook-owned Oculus had more in store for us.
From the announcement of native Windows 10 support by Xbox chief Phil Spencer, to the Oculus Touch controller that will allow us to feel virtual reality, Oculus' event re-inspired that original passion for the company's mission to bring VR to our homes in 2016.
But the announcements, while entertaining, bordered on information overload. That's why we've put together a quick guide to all the big news in one spot.
Presented in chronological order, here's the coolest news to come out of Oculus' "pre-3" show. Think we left something that should be on here off? Sound off in the comments section below.
Rift will ship with an Xbox One controller
One of the biggest question marks about the Rift's imminent release was just what, if anything, Oculus had planned to use as a controller. While it could've chosen to buy old Xbox 360 controllers in bulk, the million-dollar startup decided to take the high road by partnering with Microsoft to ship each unit of the Rift with a brand new Xbox One wireless controller.
The announcement was made by Xbox boss Phil Spencer during Oculus' event, and was met with solid applause by the audience.
More than just a shiny piece of tech to play one or two indie titles, the Xbox One controller can be used to play any Xbox One game streaming from a Windows 10 PC. But that means Oculus Rift is going to need...
Xbox One game streaming
"It was really important that we are able to bring the greatness of Xbox, Xbox Live and all of the games that people have created to PCs and tablets everywhere. I'm really proud to announce that that same streaming capability will be available for Oculus Rift," Spencer said.
In order to fully realize this goal, the two companies needed to work closer than ever before. Lo and behold that's just what happened: Windows 10 will have native Oculus Rift support.
That means videos can be played directly through the PC into the Rift and, assumably, that you won't need to jump through hoops to install Oculus' software on Win10 machines.
It will launch in Q1 2016 - but still no price
Depending on how closely you've been following Oculus' rise to power, this may or may not be news to you: Oculus Rift is coming Q1 2016.
Oculus founder and flip-flop connoisseur Palmer Luckey reiterated the statement that the Rift will finally make its way to store shelves in early 2016 after showing a 56-second trailer that easily could serve as a TV advertisement in the fall before launch.
This means that not only does a final production model exist, but that it will start going into mass production as early as this fall. The latest version has built-in, 360-degree headphones and an improved camera that uses a constellation tracking system to determine where your head is looking at all times.
Oculus Home is the Rift's virtual control center
Until now, Oculus hasn't had an interface. If you put on the headset without loading a game on the PC, all you'd see is your desktop. Thankfully, that's no longer the case.
Oculus Home is the moniker given to the the system's all-new user-interface that will persist after a game ends or video stops. From the Home's home screen, you'll be able to buy new content as well as explore content on your connected system, as well as display which one of your friends is online and serve as a quasi-social hub.
Stuck on a 2D monitor? Don't worry. Oculus also built a version of Home for desktop. From here, users can browse Home and manage their games and downloads without putting on the headset.
Oculus will make a controller called Oculus Touch
Of all of the announcements from Oculus' event, none surprised us more than the newly developed controller that the company has codenamed "Half Moon."
In lieu of using a standard Xbox controller, the Oculus Touch is a set of two controllers that have a thumb-stick, trigger and two face buttons, as well as haptic feedback to provide the illusion of actually holding something in the virtual world.
We'll leave you with Palmer Luckey's sage-like observation from this morning, "You have two hands." We checked. He's right.
Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.