Palmer Luckey’s Reddit AMA offered new details on the remote for the Oculus Rift, as well as about the specs for compatible PCs.
This week the Oculus Rift went on pre-order for $599, and the remote was revealed for the first time. It has a circular touch pad at the top that might remind users of the Steam Machine controllers, or the new Siri Remote for the Apple TV.
A redditor asked what we can expect from the remote, and Luckey replied:
“We designed the Oculus Remote to be simple and intuitive input device for navigating VR experiences, especially when a fully-featured gamepad doesn’t make sense.” He continued, “The remote is also ideal for non-gamers who want to try VR but aren’t familiar with a gamepad. It is also a good fit for apps that are ported across from Gear VR to Rift.”
Like Gear VR’s tactile inputs, the Oculus Remote will let you make selections by swiping and tapping on the touch pad. It does not have a gyroscope or accelerometer, and isn’t intended as a gaming controller.
“You are technically able to replace the battery, but the included battery life should last for about 4,000 hours of use,” Luckey said. In short, the remote’s function will remind users of a normal television remote’s function. It will be a familiar way to navigate apps and videos in VR. The gameplay part will still be alotted to the Xbox One controller that comes bundled with the Oculus, or the Touch controllers that will be released later this year.
Luckey mentioned that lower-end PCs may still be able to play video on the Oculus Rift. “Some apps will run on lower spec machines, especially things like movie apps, but we can’t officially support that, especially since many low end cards are physically unable to output the framerate and resolution required for the hardware to operate.”
As for gaming, “You won’t necessarily be able to play all games at max settings on the recommended spec. You will be able to play everything in the Oculus store at a high quality level (90 FPS) on the recommended spec. Personally, I am going to be running the standard rec spec rig to make sure I get the same experience as most users.”
There are currently no plans to create a lower-budget version of the Oculus Rift.
“A standardized system is in the best interest in developers trying to reach the widest audience,” Luckey said, “We cannot significantly reduce the cost without dramatically reducing quality.”