Oculus acquires Xbox controller design studio


— 6:00 AM on June 25, 2014

Oculus has now added controller expertise to its growing collection of in-house talent. The company has agreed to acquired Carbon Design Group, which is responsible for the venerable Xbox 360 controller, among other products. The Carbon team will become "a key component of the product engineering group at Oculus," and it's no stranger to the VR firm. Oculus has been working with the design group on "multiple unannounced projects" for almost a year.

There's no word on what those projects entail, but a VR-optimized controller seems likely. If that's in the works, Oculus has certainly picked a good partner. The Xbox 360 controller is widely regarded as one of the best gamepads for any platform.

Sony recently revealed that the light bar on its PlayStation 4 controller was included at the behest of team behind Project Morpheus, its own VR effort. Any Oculus controller would likely have some form of motion tracking, and Carbon has some experience on that front, too. The studio's resume includes the Kinect motion controller.

In related news, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe told Bloomberg that the company plans partner with other firms seeking to get in on the VR hardware scene. Oculus wants a billion people immersed in virtual reality, Iribe said, and it can't make that many headsets itself. "Expansion will be modeled on Android," according to Bloomberg, but partnerships probably won't be finalized until Oculus finishes its first commercial product.

Interestingly, Oculus and Sony have already met to try each others' VR prototypes. Let's hope the major players can agree to work together rather than against each other.

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