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When it comes to the two best VR hardware on the market, Oculus and Vive are the undisputed champions. You might prefer the detailed and intense experience from Vive or the portable and durable nature of Oculus, but whichever gadgets you choose, your game is going to be an addictive realistic adventure.
It turns out, most people buy either the Oculus or the Vive depending on what offers are available at the time and not necessarily because of the experience they want to achieve.
After a couple of games, and playing on your friend’s consoles, you might realize that Oculus has better fitted controls or that Vive’s is more seamless.
So a question emerges. Can you use one VR company’s controller on another’s console?
Both companies have made amazing controllers but what makes them different and is there a clear leader?
The Original Rift Touch Controller for Oculus
When this controller dropped onto the world of VR it was by far the best on the market. The touch controller had grip buttons so you can easily control the joystick and use the controller without having to waste time locating the buttons.
But it’s been a couple of years since the touch controller came out, and if you have played with any other controllers between now and then, you’ll feel the difference in what is essentially “old tech”.
The sensors are still great, but the handling of the controllers is no longer accurate to how virtual spaces now function.
The controllers aren’t even perfect at one game, like archery or racing, because they are trying to be good at all of them.
The controllers aren’t bad, they just aren’t the best anymore.
The Original Vive Controllers
Back in its day, when it was the original Rift vs anything else, Rift would win every time. But the Vive brought out their own controller which was easier to hold. This might seem like an odd feature to point out, but having this ease in the handling meant that your hand positioning in the VR games was more realistic.
Again this controller wasn’t aimed at any particular game, but they saw an issue with the current best seller and figured out how to fix it.
This model of hand controller is still seen as the go-to foundation for any of the new technology developed around.
The only real problem with it is the lack of a grip button. This means you can’t bend down and pick something up like in real life, which can really take you out of the immersive feeling.
Vive Cosmos Controller
On a roll, Vive brought out the Cosmos Controller, but for some reason, they designed it with a tracking system which has proven to be bad.
Most controllers use inside-out tracker sensors that figure out where you are and track what’s around you. Or they use outside in base stations, which surround you to figure out how you’re moving in the station.
The Cosmos Controller tracks your movement by using light. The idea is that the light is being blocked or shining bright to show the technology how far away or close you are. It didn’t really work.
The style of the cosmos is amazing and the other aspects of the controller are great, but when you are dealing with VR, you want to be able to control your avatar as if they were real, and this controller isn’t very good at keeping you immersed.
Rift S (and Quest) Touch Controller For Oculus
To look at it, these controllers aren’t pretty. They don’t have the Vive’s lights. Instead, it seems that Oculus has been focusing on the “touch” features.
This controller is so light, that if you’re swinging through Brooklyn playing Spider-Man you won’t feel the controller. If you are conducting your saber in Beat Saber you can continue finding the rhythm for hours.
The touch controllers are designed to be forgettable, so you can focus on the game.
But a light touch isn’t enough to be impressive and Oculus knew that. This controller is more precise and more powerful than the original. You will feel the rumble of vibrations on your hands, if you fall over, you will feel the shake of the monster behind you or the lost grip on your spiderweb.
This controller gives you real-life sensations in the virtual world.
These controllers are the best in the world right now, so if they are compatible with your console, then you should get the Quest Touch Controller.
So this brings us back to the original question, are Oculus Controllers compatible with Vive? The answer, unfortunately, is no. Currently, these two competitive game consoles are keeping their technology distant.
That doesn’t mean that if you own Vive VR you’re going to be left with a terrible controller. My review above was a harsh one because the technology in this sector is continuously growing.
The competition between these two tech giants is pushing them to create an even better and more realistic game play for us. Who knows what will be the go-to control next year.
Again the answer is no. This competition goes both ways. But if enough customers make it clear that compatibility is the new demand, then the answer to this question might be different in the future.