Knucke/Index Controllers - Some Thoughts — Oculus
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Knucke/Index Controllers - Some Thoughts

DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 5,137 Volunteer Moderator
edited April 9 in General
Unless I'm wrong, I believe you'll be holding Knuckle controllers just as you hold Touch, regardless of whether you're gripping something in VR or not. The only difference will be when you open your grip just before grabbing something, instead of just pressing the grip button on Touch when grabbing something.

The reason I say this is that you need to be firmly gripping the controller to operate the other controls (movement etc) and to provide firm stability to the controller whether gripping something or not. If this is the case, then you're really just making quite a subtle difference to the experience.

But what might make a larger difference (at least for me) is having the constant touch of the strap across the back of my hand. This may, for me, contribute to having a reminder that you're using a controller rather than add to immersion.

Don't get me wrong, the old Vive controllers are overdue for an improved alternative and Knuckles are definitely that, but I'm not sure the grip mechanic is adding to the experience or detracting. Am I missing something?

I  welcome alternative thoughts.
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Comments

  • pyroth309pyroth309 Posts: 1,568 Valuable Player
    edited April 9
    Unless I'm wrong, I believe you'll be holding Knuckle controllers just as you hold Touch, regardless of whether you're gripping something in VR or not. The only difference will be when you open your grip just before grabbing something, instead of just pressing the grip button on Touch when grabbing something.

    The reason I say this is that you need to be firmly gripping the controller to operate the other controls (movement etc) and to provide firm stability to the controller whether gripping something or not. If this is the case, then you're really just making quite a subtle difference to the experience.

    But what might make a larger difference (at least for me) is having the constant touch of the strap across the back of my hand. This may, for me, contribute to having a reminder that you're using a controller rather than add to immersion.

    Don't get me wrong, the old Vive controllers are overdue for an improved alternative and Knuckles are definitely that, but I'm not sure the grip mechanic is adding to the experience or detracting. Am I missing something?

    I  welcome alternative thoughts.
    I agree with the sentiment that it could be a distraction if you tighten them too much or having anything on your hands bothers you, but the tension is fully adjustable. You can have it barely hugging or very snug if you like. I mean obviously if you're doing throwing motions you'll have to tighten it though. I haven't used the knuckles yet to say definitively but based on watching other people use them and how wide the strap is, it seems like it would feel similar to like wearing some gloves or something and probably won't detract too much.

    This is a good breakdown of them. Like anything there's definite pros and cons to them and he lists the cons. He actually had problems making them feel like they aren't in his hand so you may be on to something.



  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 5,137 Volunteer Moderator
    edited April 9
    There are a few things I take from that vid...
    He mentions at one point that he no longer as to 'look for the grip button', was that an issue with wands? I don't think its a thing with Touch.

    The other thing is multi-tasking... can you move and through a grenade at the same time for example? of operate any of the other controls and throw? or is that something you'd have to learn to do.... ie just open the lower part of your grip to release the grenade while still moving the thumbstick to move or any other control. IDK that seems like it could be tricky.

    The fit thing is a valid comment, there must be a balance between not feeling that they're there.... and having them firm enough to be stable when not gripping.

    It seems to me that they will need games designed with them in mind... i.e. standing still while throwing, as with the example he showed. Do you need to move whilst shooting arrows in In Death? I notice he seemed to be alternating between shooting and moving.

    Edit: I've just been trying to open my grip without moving my thumb off the stick or buttons and I cant do it.
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  • pyroth309pyroth309 Posts: 1,568 Valuable Player
    edited April 9
    There are a few things I take from that vid...
    He mentions at one point that he no longer as to 'look for the grip button', was that an issue with wands? I don't think its a thing with Touch.

    Yea he was talking about the Wands with that comment.


    The other thing is multi-tasking... can you move and through a grenade at the same time for example? of operate any of the other controls and throw? or is that something you'd have to learn to do.... ie just open the lower part of your grip to release the grenade while still moving the thumbstick to move or any other control. IDK that seems like it could be tricky.

    The fit thing is a valid comment, there must be a balance between not feeling that they're there.... and having them firm enough to be stable when not gripping.

    It seems to me that they will need games designed with them in mind... i.e. standing still while throwing, as with the example he showed. Do you need to move whilst shooting arrows in In Death? I notice he seemed to be alternating between shooting and moving.

    Edit: I've just been trying to open my grip without moving my thumb off the stick or buttons and I cant do it.
    I can do it no problem but my hands are pretty dextrous. Perhaps it is easier with the knuckles in your hands. I also agree that games will have to be made to fully utilize them. As far as moving when shooting, Sebastian isn't exactly the best player lol. Most of his footage is at a novice level at best. It always made me wonder what he is spending all of his time playing... or perhaps he's too busy with his channel and reviewing to actually play much. That said, he has a pretty good understanding of VR and gameplay even though his own mechanical ability isn't up to par.
  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 5,137 Volunteer Moderator

    Edit: I've just been trying to open my grip without moving my thumb off the stick or buttons and I cant do it.
    Haha. I can just picture you trying this.  :#

    But I bet you can do this though right?


    hahaha yeah I tried and tried... and I had my tongue sticking out a little bit while I did it, but yes, strangely the Vulcan salute is no problem at all.

    @pyroth309 I get the feeling you're younger than me. Every so often a conversation gives me little reminders of how old I am. :p
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  • MradrMradr Posts: 3,505 Valuable Player
    hahaha yeah I tried and tried... and I had my tongue sticking out a little bit while I did it, but yes, strangely the Vulcan salute is no problem at all.

    @pyroth309 I get the feeling you're younger than me. Every so often a conversation gives me little reminders of how old I am. :p
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  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 5,137 Volunteer Moderator
    Gene Simmons clearly would have no problem with Knuckles although a VR cover may be a good idea to avoid transfer of makeup.
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  • Shadowmask72Shadowmask72 Posts: 3,740 Valuable Player
    Gene Simmons clearly would have no problem with Knuckles although a VR cover may be a good idea to avoid transfer of makeup.
    Phew, thank GOD you said "makeup".


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  • DilipDilip Posts: 252
    Nexus 6
    edited April 9
    Knuckle controllers displayed some very awesome finger tracking ...Look for boneworks video
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 14,519 Valuable Player
    edited April 9
    First off, I consider MrTV's opinions 100% irrelevant at this point.

    As for Knuckles, there seems to be a lot there that isn't very practical; but time will tell of course. Completely opening your hand while using your Thumb to move around will likely cause the controller to "move.' This is what makes Oculus Touch so great, is that you are using your bottom to fingers to essentially hold it in place while you perform rugged actions with the analog sticks.

    Whereas with Knuckles, opening and closing your hands is very situational, and will likely make simultaneous actions that involve movement a bit unnatural. In the end, I'm willing to bet that people will end up naturally treating these like Oculus Touch controllers, where the bottom two fingers will keep the controller in place at least 90% of the time.
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  • RuneSR2RuneSR2 Posts: 3,392 Valuable Player
    edited April 9
    Zenbane said:
    First off, I consider MrTV's opinions 100% irrelevant at this point.

    As for Knuckles, there seems to be a lot there that isn't very practical; but time will tell of course. Completely opening your hand while using your Thumb to move around will likely cause the controller to "move.' This is what makes Oculus Touch so great, is that you are using your bottom to fingers to essentially hold it in place while you perform rugged actions with the analog sticks.

    Whereas with Knuckles, opening and closing your hands is very situational, and will likely make simultaneous actions that involve movement a bit unnatural. In the end, I'm willing to bet that people will end up naturally treating these like Oculus Touch controllers, where the bottom two fingers will keep the controller in place at least 90% of the time.

    Agreed, also I never notice the straps on the Touch controllers - within seconds I never notice Touch at all, the controllers simply become invisible and work like my hands. I do like the ability to use all individual fingers on Knuckles, but Touch is still awesome. Touch never was an issue: SDE, god rays and HMD res could be better on the Rift, but Touch? No way  ;) 

    Still I haven't tried Knuckles - one important factor could be weight, but according to some comments Knuckles may not be much heavier than Touch - we'll see about that later...

    "They actually feel very, very light when you're holding them. I'd be surprised if there was a considerable weight difference between them and touch. They're also pretty balanced weight wise, dont feel top heavy at all."
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  • ThmoasThmoas Posts: 318
    Trinity
    edited April 9
    Well I don't care about the strap but your post made me think about something unrelated: Throwing stuff and hand presence is cool. But, whenever you throw something, all other knobs and buttons on that controller can't be used.

    So if you are running forward using the joystick on the controller and you want to throw a nade with the same controller, that creates a usability issue. I'm looking forward to how they work around these niggles.
  • RuneSR2RuneSR2 Posts: 3,392 Valuable Player
    Thmoas said:
    Well I don't care about the strap but your post made me think about something unrelated: Throwing stuff and hand presence is cool. But, whenever you throw something, all other knobs and buttons on that controller can't be used.

    So if you are running forward using the joystick on the controller and you want to throw a nade with the same controller, that creates a usability issue. I'm looking forward to how they work around these niggles.

    Throwing stuff and straps - and I just remembered this funny picture  :D

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  • CrashFuCrashFu Posts: 1,756 Valuable Player
    These things are so comically HUGE.. and the inconvenience of having to literally strap yourself in and out of a controller every time you want to use it, and having your hands completely tied up during?  Can someone wearing the Knuckles even get their own headset on and off? Seems to me like another product built to impress on the showroom floor, with people assisting the user, but which will be far less practical for home use.

    And I just can't imagine all the bulkiness and difficulty of use being worth the gimmick of tracking individual fingers, which is unlikely to see any practical use outside of VR Chat.  (from what I've seen of tech demo videos, even Valve can't think up much you could do with these that you couldn't with Touch, other than flipping people off)    Plus, how many devs are even going to add support for this controller to their games, other than as a basic Touch emulation?  I'm guessing "next to none", unless the Index captures a huge chunk of the market.

    P.S.   Anyone remember back when the first knuckles prototypes were announced, and they stated that it had "Extra straps that don't actually DO anything; they're just there to fool the user into feeling more secure"?    Looks like the extra, superfluous straps are gone, but let's never forget:  That's what Valve thinks of their customers.
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  • RuneSR2RuneSR2 Posts: 3,392 Valuable Player
    edited April 9
    Touch still looks awesome  <3 - other controllers look too big and chunky:



    Weight (one controller):

    Knuckles EV1 = 184 grams

    Vive Wands = 205 grams

    Touch controllers = 166 grams (With battery installed)

    Windows MR = 197 grams (With two batteries installed)

    Knuckles EV3 = 196 grams

    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/ValveIndex/comments/bawinj/valve_knuckles_controllers_compared_in_size_to/

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  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 5,137 Volunteer Moderator
    Thmoas said:
    Well I don't care about the strap but your post made me think about something unrelated: Throwing stuff and hand presence is cool. But, whenever you throw something, all other knobs and buttons on that controller can't be used.

    So if you are running forward using the joystick on the controller and you want to throw a nade with the same controller, that creates a usability issue. I'm looking forward to how they work around these niggles.
    Totally agree, I made a point about throwing and using any of the other controls at the same time being problematic.
    I think it depends how often and in how many games this is going to crop up.

    Which brings me to my final point really, are future games going to be tailored to the type of hand controllers being used? i.e. are some games going to put an emphasis on opening and closing your hands to showcase Knuckle capabilities?

    Or are devs unlikely to do that knowing that there are a mix of controllers out there. I think it'll be the latter with the exception of a few early games to go with Knuckles launch.
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  • pyroth309pyroth309 Posts: 1,568 Valuable Player
    edited April 9


    @pyroth309 I get the feeling you're younger than me. Every so often a conversation gives me little reminders of how old I am. :p
    I'm 39, but I've been playing games/using my hands since I was a toddler. I'm also close to ambidextrous but not quite.

    That said, I think for me it will depend on how well the controller hangs on without being uncomfortable. That's something I can't answer without actually trying it. In the grenade throwing example, if I am chucking a grenade with the touch controller, I'm not doing anything else with that hand normally except throwing the grenade. The same would be true with Knuckles in most cases. It detects when you squeeze and when your fingers are simply on it so you could set it up the squeeze as holding the grenade and only letting off the squeeze to throw if it's a problem

    If the controller is hanging on well to me, opening my fingers shouldn't effect my thumbs much and should allow me to continue using the stick. But if it's moving around or not stable then likely not.

    I would hope the software will be flexible enough to allow you to ignore fingers as well if you want to keep a couple on it at all times for stability.

    That said, I linked the MRTV Vid because he's one of the few that did a recent look at them and he brought up some good points about the comfort relevant to this thread. Most of the other videos I've seen are almost all positive so not really helpful.

  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 5,137 Volunteer Moderator
    RuneSR2 said:
    Touch still looks awesome  <3 - other controllers look too big and chunky:



    Weight (one controller):

    Knuckles EV1 = 184 grams

    Vive Wands = 205 grams

    Touch controllers = 166 grams (With battery installed)

    Windows MR = 197 grams (With two batteries installed)

    Knuckles EV3 = 196 grams

    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/ValveIndex/comments/bawinj/valve_knuckles_controllers_compared_in_size_to/

    Interesting. The new Touch controllers will be a little smaller and lighter again.
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  • ShocksVRShocksVR Posts: 450
    Trinity
    edited April 9
    Zenbane said:
    First off, I consider MrTV's opinions 100% irrelevant at this point.

    As for Knuckles, there seems to be a lot there that isn't very practical; but time will tell of course. Completely opening your hand while using your Thumb to move around will likely cause the controller to "move.' This is what makes Oculus Touch so great, is that you are using your bottom to fingers to essentially hold it in place while you perform rugged actions with the analog sticks.

    Whereas with Knuckles, opening and closing your hands is very situational, and will likely make simultaneous actions that involve movement a bit unnatural. In the end, I'm willing to bet that people will end up naturally treating these like Oculus Touch controllers, where the bottom two fingers will keep the controller in place at least 90% of the time.
    Agreed.

    While the Knuckles have further potential than Touch, knuckles still mimics Touch's Trigger, Grip buttons, and thumbstick (along with the capacitive 3 finger tracking) [edit - and it even has the A & B buttons !].  While Knuckle specific games will benefit from the 4th and 5th digit tracking  (Pinky Finger locomotion FTW!!), and the new force/pressure feedback; games developed for BOTH headsets will still cater to the baseline - Trigger, Grip, Thumbstick, and 3 finger tracking.  I expect games to play very similar on both controllers



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  • pyroth309pyroth309 Posts: 1,568 Valuable Player
    edited April 9
    RuneSR2 said:
    Touch still looks awesome  <3 - other controllers look too big and chunky:



    Weight (one controller):

    Knuckles EV1 = 184 grams

    Vive Wands = 205 grams

    Touch controllers = 166 grams (With battery installed)

    Windows MR = 197 grams (With two batteries installed)

    Knuckles EV3 = 196 grams

    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/ValveIndex/comments/bawinj/valve_knuckles_controllers_compared_in_size_to/

    No disagreement here. Touch are slick and are still the best thing about the Rift. I think with Knuckles, due to the way they work, they pretty much have to be large to be able to accommodate large hands. I did see some videos from Cas and Chary using them with small hands and worked good. I have very wide palms so I am actually hoping they are big enough lol.

    There is one issue I have with touch while playing beat saber, there's not enough to grab with the normal grip when my hands even get a little sweaty and I've lost my controller multiple times. That little safety strap is just for show,,,,both popped easily lol. The Touch are really well built though and didn't break despite slamming into the wall/floor multiple times.
  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 7,031 Valuable Player
    Zenbane said:
    First off, I consider MrTV's opinions 100% irrelevant at this point.

    As for Knuckles, there seems to be a lot there that isn't very practical; but time will tell of course. Completely opening your hand while using your Thumb to move around will likely cause the controller to "move.' This is what makes Oculus Touch so great, is that you are using your bottom to fingers to essentially hold it in place while you perform rugged actions with the analog sticks.

    Whereas with Knuckles, opening and closing your hands is very situational, and will likely make simultaneous actions that involve movement a bit unnatural. In the end, I'm willing to bet that people will end up naturally treating these like Oculus Touch controllers, where the bottom two fingers will keep the controller in place at least 90% of the time.
    Agreed.

    While the Knuckles have further potential than Touch, knuckles still mimics Touch's Trigger, Grip buttons, and thumbstick (along with the capacitive 3 finger tracking) [edit - and it even has the A & B buttons !].  While Knuckle specific games will benefit from the 4th and 5th digit tracking  (Pinky Finger locomotion FTW!!), and the new force/pressure feedback; games developed for BOTH headsets will still cater to the baseline - Trigger, Grip, Thumbstick, and 3 finger tracking.  I expect games to play very similar on both controllers




    Yup, I've been saying the same thing for quite some time. You won't see the vast majority of developers using the finger tracking for the ring and pinky fingers because we hardly ever use the things in real life. You could amputate those fingers in real life and the only disadvantage you would have compared to people with all four fingers would be a weaker grip.

    You'll see developers using it to enable players to waggle their fingers but that's about it.

    Same goes for the grip pressure too. In real life and in video game situations your grip is either on or off. There isn't a single tool that I can think of where pressure sensitivity makes any difference to the use of it.

    Now if I was developing my game for both headsets I'd just use the grip being on or off to pick up objects (and have an option in the controls to either toggle the grip button to pick up and drop items or hold the grip button to hold an item and let go to drop the item), have the thumbs up to work opening doors with a thumb print and the pointing index finger to tap in codes to a panel to open some doors.

    There's just no need to have individual finger tracking for any sort of scenario apart from wiggling fingers, drinking a cup of tea in a posh manner or doing the Heavy Metal hand signal lol :o :D :D :D
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  • WildtWildt Posts: 2,008 Valuable Player
    Zenbane said:
    Completely opening your hand while using your Thumb to move around will likely cause the controller to "move.'
    If you tighten the strap decently, and don't go nuts with the force on the stick, this is really not an issue.
    Basing this on my time with the Mamut Grips, which evidently has worse straps.
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  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 7,031 Valuable Player
    And it should also be mentioned that Oculus dropped an almost identical design for the Touch controllers because they had people accidentally throwing the things around the office. Expect to see A LOT of pictures on Reddit of broken tellies, windows, ornaments and injuries to pets and small children lol
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  • CrashFuCrashFu Posts: 1,756 Valuable Player
    What are these things made of anyways, if they're only 33% heavier than Touch despite being nearly 200% the size and having all this extra equipment and padded straps and such built into them?

    I'd be worried about how much durability they sacrificed to get the weight that low;  The Knuckles will probably smash into pieces the first time you clip a piece of furniture / hit them together / punch yourself in the face trying to adjust your HMD.   Good thing Valve has such an awesome track record when it comes to customer service, huh?  :wink:


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  • kojackkojack Posts: 5,520 Volunteer Moderator
    To me, the knuckles have the thumb stick and track pad the wrong way around. The thumb stick should be in the middle, for closer access to the buttons. The track pad should be away so pressing a button doesn't result in accidental pad touches. The pad is really close to the buttons. I've had that happen with my steam controller, it has a similar bad design of track pads too close to buttons.
  • pyroth309pyroth309 Posts: 1,568 Valuable Player
    edited April 9
    kojack said:
    To me, the knuckles have the thumb stick and track pad the wrong way around. The thumb stick should be in the middle, for closer access to the buttons. The track pad should be away so pressing a button doesn't result in accidental pad touches. The pad is really close to the buttons. I've had that happen with my steam controller, it has a similar bad design of track pads too close to buttons.
    Agreed. Seems like an unnecessary reach. Even flipping the buttons and pad would be better.
  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 5,137 Volunteer Moderator
    edited April 9
    kojack said:
    To me, the knuckles have the thumb stick and track pad the wrong way around. The thumb stick should be in the middle, for closer access to the buttons. The track pad should be away so pressing a button doesn't result in accidental pad touches. The pad is really close to the buttons. I've had that happen with my steam controller, it has a similar bad design of track pads too close to buttons.
    I wonder if the intention was to put the unique features centre stage to maximize their use... encourage devs to make use of them more thereby making them more of a selling point. But yeah, I think in the end it probably won't be and will just make the more commonly used stick a little more awkward.
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  • kojackkojack Posts: 5,520 Volunteer Moderator
    I haven't seen anything about it yet (or gone looking for it), but is the track pad on the knuckles 1d or 2d? It wouldn't be great for horizontal touch tracking (too narrow), but does it expose it at all? Is it also a clickable button?



  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 5,137 Volunteer Moderator
    According to that MRTV vid, they're 2D even though, like you say, they're quite narrow. He didn't mention if they're still clickable though but I'd assume that hasn't changed.
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  • EvileyesEvileyes Posts: 345
    Trinity
    edited April 10

    I absolutely love the design, and I will be buying this shit, day 1.


    Edit: BTW, zero complaints about the vive controllers, they are durable and most of all precise when I used them. Perfect angle for swords or guns and just love the fact that I could just recharge them too!

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