Oculus announces hand-held controller for Samsung Gear VR

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Samsung’s Gear VR is a great, affordable introduction to virtual reality for the uninitiated, but its pretty limited when it comes to controls. Peering around virtual worlds is great and all, but without the ability to interact with them, the possibilities it offers have been a little limited to date. Samsung’s partner Oculus, best known of course for it’s high-end Rift VR kit, wants to fix that with the forthcoming Gear VR Controller.

In a story posted to the Oculus blog, the company outlines how the Controller will work. The short version is this: it’ll let you point, drag and drop, tilt, and shoot your way around virtual worlds.

“The Gear VR Controller adds a deeper level of immersion by giving you the power to interact with the virtual environment in an intuitive way,” Oculus says. “The controller’s touchpad has been tuned to make it easy to navigate to your favourite videos and perform a number of actions within a game, while the trigger lets you select, grab, take aim, and fire.”

Oculus is also talking up the Controller’s ergonomic design. It includes home, volume, and back buttons, and thanks to an accompanying SDK, developers will be able to make use of all of the device’s features.

As for existing content, there are 70 new Controller-compatible titles already in development. Oculus says all existing touchpad apps will also be compatible with the new hardware. There’s no information on pricing or availability yet. We’ll be sure to let you know when that changes.

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