Oculus quietly added a new product to the Oculus Rift accessory lineup. The company now allows you to order individual left and right Touch controllers—even if you’re probably better off buying two anyway.
In December 2016, Oculus released the Touch motion controllers for the Oculus Rift platform. At the time, the controllers sold as a pair with an extra Oculus sensor for $199. A few months later, Oculus cut the bundle's price down to $99. Oculus released the Touch controllers as a pair, which makes sense, because a single Touch controller isn’t good for much other than playing Rock Band VR.
Almost every experience requires two Touch controllers, but we can think of a couple of reasons that you may only need one. Last year, Oculus updated the Rift platform to support additional “tracked objects” for creating mixed reality trailers and streams. Oculus doesn’t make universal tracked objects like the HTC Vive Trackers, which means you need to use a Touch controller as a tracked object. And of course, these controllers aren’t indestructible. You may one day need a replacement controller.
Up until now, if anything happened to one of your Touch controllers, or if you needed a third controller to use as a tracked object, you had to purchase a full set of Touch controllers, which includes two controllers and an Oculus sensor. Now, Oculus offers the left and right Touch controllers individually. However, we’re not sure we can recommend purchasing individual Touch controllers because the price is prohibitively high.
Oculus is asking $69 for left or right Touch controllers. For that price, you get the controller of your choice and one AA battery. Whereas for $99, you can get both controllers, an extra sensor, and a Rock Band guitar connector. For the extra $30, it’s worth having an extra sensor and another extra controller on hand. The only situation we can think of that would justify an individual purchase, is if you’ve already purchased a new set to replace a broken controller, and ended up breaking the replacement again. Oculus’ controllers are not ambidextrous, so having three left hand controllers and one right hand (or vise versa) would be silly.
Individual left and right Touch controllers are available now from the Oculus website.
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Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.