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Oculus delays Touch motion controllers until second half of 2016

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Oculus' Touch motion controllers have been delayed until the second half of next year, the company recently announced. "On the path to perfecting Touch, we've decided that we need more time before release," reads a statement released this morning, noting that preorders will begin "a few months prior to launch."

This won't affect the availability of the Rift virtual reality headset, which is still supposed to ship in the first quarter of 2016. As we've heard before, Oculus says that preorders for the Rift will open "very soon." The Rift will launch with an Xbox One gamepad alongside a variety of controller-oriented games, like platformer Lucky's Talewhich is bundled with the headset.

The Rift is still launching in the coming months

The Oculus Touch controllers were a surprise announcement in mid-2015, and they were first shown off at that year's E3 gaming event, with a tentative release date of mid-2016. While we've seen a consumer-ready version of the Rift, Touch has still appeared only in prototype form. "We've made significant advances in ergonomics, and we're implementing many changes that make Touch even more comfortable, reliable, and natural. We're also implementing changes that improve hand pose recognition," says Oculus. "We're also outputting larger numbers of pre-production runs, which means we can get a lot more Touch hardware in the hands of developers who need it."

This isn't hugely surprising, especially given how long the Rift's development period has been, as well as how new the Touch controllers seem. Even the rare moment of unreliability in a controller can be hugely frustrating, especially for complex programs like Oculus' virtual sculpting app or Epic's early attempt at a Touch-based first-person shooter. And Oculus has been increasingly leery of releasing anything that could sour public opinion on VR.

When Touch does come out, the company promises "a huge amount of ground-breaking new content" will accompany it. We just don't know when that might happen, and it's looking like we might not find out for quite some time.