Oculus Rift will ship with an Xbox One controller

Xbox One

I've tried VR with a mouse and keyboard and it can be a little tricky, so it's good news that the Oculus Rift will ship with a controller. What I expected from the event today was the announcement of a custom controller—which is part of what makes SteamVR so interesting—but instead Oculus announced that the Rift will ship with a wireless Xbox One controller. [Update: Spoke too soon, Oculus Rift will also have its own wireless controller, the Oculus Touch, which will come out after the Rift.]

Microsoft's Phil Spencer briefly took the stage at Oculus' press conference in San Francisco to announce a partnership between Oculus and Microsoft. According to Spencer, the Rift will work natively with Windows 10, and Microsoft's game streaming between Xbox One and PC will support the Oculus Rift. Gamers who own and Xbox One and a PC will be able to stream Xbox One games to the Windows 10 Xbox application, and those games can be displayed on the Oculus Rift instead of a monitor using a "virtual cinema."

A short demo video showed what this is like: a virtual room with a large television screen displaying the Xbox game. There's no fancy conversion happening here, turning Xbox games into VR experiences. It's the equivalent of a VR cinema, where you watch a 2D film projected in front of you—except instead of a film, it's an Xbox game. And you'll be playing it with the wireless Xbox One controller bundles with the Rift.

Includes reporting by Wes Fenlon, who is on the scene at the Oculus press conference.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.