Virtual reality enthusiasts looking to add hand-tracking to the Oculus Rift may have to shell out a pretty penny for the privilege. That’s based on a report from Engadget’s Nick Summers, who stopped by his local GAME store and saw a banner ad selling Oculus Touch controllers for a suggested retail price of £189.99.
Using current exchange rates, that would equate to a price of around $250 for the controllers in the US. But the $599 Oculus Rift headset itself is currently on sale for £549 in the UK, following an apparently Brexit-induced price hike in August. That international price ratio would suggest a price closer to $200 for the US version of the Touch controllers.
Funnily enough, $200 is also the price difference between the Oculus Rift and the $799, SteamVR-powered HTC Vive, which already comes with two handheld tracking controllers (and the Lighthouse base stations to track them across an entire room). As of now, it looks like the price advantage will dry up completely once both systems are equipped with crucial hand tracking support.
Of course, the Touch controllers are still technically optional on the Rift, giving VR-curious gamers a cheaper entry point if they’re happy with the standard Xbox One controller in virtual reality. We can’t recommend that level of VR penny pinching, though. The lack of manual controls is an extremely glaring missing component in the current Oculus Rift ecosystem, and it’s one of the main reasons we’re currently recommending the Vive in the head-to-head battle between PC-bound VR headsets. But we were impressed with the near-final Touch controllers at recent demo events, so that recommendation could easily change in the future.
We don’t expect the price or specific release date of the Touch controllers to be officially announced until the Oculus Connect conference in San Jose early next month. Ars will be on hand for all announcements and to report on more hands-on time with Oculus’ virtual reality hands-on.