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Touch vs Index controllers and why I prefer Touch

MowTin
Level 11
When I first saw the knuckles/index controllers being demoed, I was wowed by them and couldn't wait to get my hands on them. Now that I have them, I think I prefer Touch and I'll explain why...

The Thumbsticks


1. Notice how the index is dimpled. You have a much better tactile feel and grip for your thumb. Both XBox One and PS4 controllers have this. Why mess with perfection?

2. With Touch your last two fingers, pinky and ring finger, both grip the end of the controller as you move the thumbstick giving you better leverage and control. For the Index, griping is grabbing so can't grab.

The buttons

1. Notice how the Touch has four distinctly labeled buttons A, B, Y, X just like the XBox controller or PS4 controller using symbols. Index has A, B for both. They can be mapped differently but in games, you can't get a convenient Y or X indicator for what button you need to press. 

Grabbing

1. On Touch, grab is a trigger type button with travel. You clearly feel it and know how much travel you're applying. The Index depends on pressure. If you squeeze it hard enough you'll feel some click like feedback. This creates ambiguity when holding something. If the pressure your applying drops below some threshold, you drop what you're holding. I find that I grab things I didn't intend to grab and drop things that I didn't intend to drop. 

Tracking your ring and index finger serves very little practical use in games. Game makers aren't going to want to use a feature that's exclusive to the Index. And it's hard to imagine what you would really do with those fingers in a game that would be meaningful. 

Strap

1. You have the extra hassle of slipping your hands into the traps and out of the straps. It's not a huge hassle but it feels like taking gloves off one at a time versus just putting the controller down. 

2. Because your hands are strapped in, you can't slide your thumb up and down as easily as you can with touch. 

Charging

When I finish playing with my Index I have to remember to plug the controllers in to charge. With Touch I use rechargeable batteries and I can always just swap out batteries when they get low. It takes about 3 hours to charge the Index controllers. But that's a matter of preference. Some people prefer the ps4 controllers vs xbox battery swap. 

Price

1. We all smash our controller onto the wall or a desk once in a while. So, it's better if they're cheaper to replace if you break them.

The bottom line is while they look better and have this cool looking finger tracking feature, they're not functionally better yet cost much more. And for some crazy reason, they abandoned controller conventions that have been around for decades. 

I'm not even going to discuss how bad the trackpad/d-pad thingy is because Touch doesn't have one so overall it's an advantage for the index. You can press it like a button and use it like the d-pad in the xbox and ps4 controllers. 

It may seem like I'm trashing the Index controllers but I'm not. They're a huge improvement over wands and finger tracking is cool. 
 



i7 9700k 2080ti   CV1, Rift-S, Index, G2
159 REPLIES 159

MowTin
Level 11

kojack said:

The Steam Controller did the same thing with the thumbstick, it's smooth domed convex instead of concave.
Concave gives better grip. Otherwise you need to go the hatswitch style and have a larger shape to push against.



And if you need to flick the stick, it's better having those ridges around the convex surface. If you try to flick the index sticks you slip off. 
i7 9700k 2080ti   CV1, Rift-S, Index, G2

Zenbane
Level 16

MowTin said:

And if you need to flick the stick




Techy111
Volunteer Moderator
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A PC with lots of gadgets inside and a thing to see in 3D that you put on your head.

RuneSR2
Level 16
I've been using both old Touch and Knuckles the last weeks, I don't experience much difference. Just like Touch, Knuckles disappear in my hands and when in a game I don't notice much if I'm using one or the other. Materials do feel of better quality using Knuckles - old Touch does feel more cheap. Both seem quite sturdy, now I've banged both into walls with no problems 🙂

Advantages with Knuckles is the pressure sensitive grabbing function - works great for me - you now grab things in VR just like in the real world. I don't drop them, the sensitive grab also works as one large button (just like Touch). And you no longer need to constantly hold the controller - you can just let go and you still won't drop Knuckles in the real world. Knuckles feel more light, maybe because they don't have to hold an AA battery, but I haven't measured the weight. Also Knuckles gives you full finger tracking - it really works and to me it increases presence - I like being able to move all my fingers like I can in the real world.
 
I just helped one dev getting Knuckles control implemented in his game (which soon will be available in the Oculus Store and on Steam) - it was extremely easy, because you can map Touch to Knuckles 1:1. Same goes for Revive. So Touch has buttons A, B, C, D, while Knuckles have 2 x A and 2 x B, but you can't see the letters inside VR and basically you have 2 round buttons on each Touch controller and the same on Knuckles - and they're placed so similarly that my brain doesn't notice any significant difference. Same goes for the thumbsticks. Main difference is the trackpad between thumstick and the round buttons - in many games the trackpad simply works like the flat round button on the left Touch - you use it to open in-game menus. In some games trackpads are used for teleport controls and add an extra dimension - like in Garden of the Sea. 

The one area where differences may appear seems more to be QA, where many have gotten Knuckles with a thumbstick, where some movements don't correctly register. I haven't experienced problems with mine though. Old Touch seemed to have awesome QA. And Knuckles are more expensive - then again, old Touch did cost $350 over here two years ago, so Knuckles may in fact be cheaper 😉 

In short - even though I'm a great fan of old Touch, I like Knuckles better if I had to choose - but you're not going to get a bad VR experience no matter what you use, we're not talking about the WMR or PSVR controllers here, lol.

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

Zenbane
Level 16

RuneSR2 said:

old Touch did cost $350 over here two years ago, so Knuckles may in fact be cheaper 😉



Old Touch was $199 USD, and it came quite a bit of free software: The Unspoken, VR Sports Challenge, Dead & Buried, Quill, Oculus Medium, and Robo Recall. And then later came Echo Arena.

And that's not counting the demo software like First Contact and Toy Box.

So if you set aside any demo software that came with your Knuckle controllers, what free software did you get? If you do your Math correctly, there is no scenario where Knuckles were cheaper. But when we account for their manufacturer defects, they are definitely cheaper in that regard
🙂

I've held the Valve Wands several times, and Knuckles have a similar design. The over-sized bulkiness is not the same as the Oculus Touch. Neither old Touch nor new Touch. Now I've read your thoughts on Index over in the "Index Thread," and I can't help but feel like you just champion it by choice. And there's nothing wrong with that. But MowTin has provided what I feel is a much more unbiased analysis here.

snowdog
Level 16
Well he did say, 'over here'. Perhaps Canada or Australia?
"This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

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DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
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Just a reminder in reference to an earlier post. If everyone can avoid references to mental illness or excessive personal attacks (well, personal attacks in general), that would be great. I'll also butt out of this conversation henceforth as I don't want to stoke any fires.

I will however keep checking on posts including assessing the likelihood that any poster is returning from exile which is definitely not going to go unchecked.

Thanks.

Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v20H2 (19042.964)

RuneSR2
Level 16

Zenbane said:


RuneSR2 said:

old Touch did cost $350 over here two years ago, so Knuckles may in fact be cheaper 😉



Old Touch was $199 USD, and it came quite a bit of free software: The Unspoken, VR Sports Challenge, Dead & Buried, Quill, Oculus Medium, and Robo Recall. And then later came Echo Arena.

And that's not counting the demo software like First Contact and Toy Box.

So if you set aside any demo software that came with your Knuckle controllers, what free software did you get? If you do your Math correctly, there is no scenario where Knuckles were cheaper. But when we account for their manufacturer defects, they are definitely cheaper in that regard
🙂

I've held the Valve Wands several times, and Knuckles have a similar design. The over-sized bulkiness is not the same as the Oculus Touch. Neither old Touch nor new Touch. Now I've read your thoughts on Index over in the "Index Thread," and I can't help but feel like you just champion it by choice. And there's nothing wrong with that. But MowTin has provided what I feel is a much more unbiased analysis here.


I think it's more about your hands - seems that if you have too large or too small hands Knuckles may not fit well, even though the hand strap can be adjusted. Maybe Touch differs less from person to person, but I really don't have a problem with Knuckles. You do have to get the hand straps set correctly - not too tight and not too loose. 
In Scandinavia old Touch was $350 (€300 at the official Oculus dealer in Denmark named ElGiganten, where Klodsbrik usually buy his stuff 😉 in 2017, and of course that would be a better deal if you got a lot of software to go with it (I bought the bundle back then). Right now Knuckles are priced at similar €299 in Europe, but Knuckles have no associated software (Moondust and Aperture Hand Lab are awesome, but you have to find them on Steam by yourself, and these are tech demos not real games). 
I don't think "one size fits all" works when comparing old Touch and Knuckles, I'd suggest to try both for some days and see what works best for you. Knuckles have 14 days return period:

"For Valve Index Hardware (virtual reality headset, base stations and controllers) you have the right to cancel any purchase of the Hardware on Steam within 14 days from the day on which you or a third party indicated by you (other than the carrier) receives the Hardware purchased. To exercise this right, you must inform us of your decision to cancel your order by an unequivocal statement."
Source: https://store.steampowered.com/hardware_order_terms

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

Zenbane
Level 16

RuneSR2 said:
In Scandinavia old Touch was $350 (€300 at the official Oculus dealer in Denmark

Right now Knuckles are priced at similar €299 in Europe


You are playing around with a lot of Math. But lets just keep it simple and factual.
  • At release, Oculus Touch was $199 USD
  • At release, Valve Knuckles are $279 USD

$199 < $279

So you are quite wrong to say that Knuckles are priced cheaper than the original Touch Controllers. And when you factor in all the free software that came with Touch... well, the Math gets even worse for the Knuckles.

Link to the Valve store for pricing:
https://store.steampowered.com/valveindex

Wildt
Level 12

Zenbane said:


RuneSR2 said:
In Scandinavia old Touch was $350 (€300 at the official Oculus dealer in Denmark

Right now Knuckles are priced at similar €299 in Europe


You are playing around with a lot of Math. 
REALLY? :lol:

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PCVR: CV1 || 4 sensors || TPcast wireless adapter || MamutVR Gun stock V3
PSVR: PS4 Pro || Move Controllers || Aim controller
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