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Oculus VR acquires the engineering team that helped create the Xbox 360 controller

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The company behind the Oculus Rift has acquired Carbon Design Group, the engineering team that helped develop the Xbox 360 controller (and its transforming d-pad) and Kinect for Microsoft, Oculus VR announced today. Oculus says that it's been working with Carbon "for nearly a year on multiple unannounced projects."

"We're thrilled to announce that we've agreed to acquire the Carbon Design team, one of the premier industrial design and product engineering teams in the country, with over 50 awards to their name," the Oculus VR team announced on its website. "As part of the deal, the team will officially become a key component of the product engineering group at Oculus, operating from the Carbon studio in the Seattle area. They'll also be working closely with the Oculus R&D team based out of Redmond."

Oculus' deal to acquire Carbon is expected to close this summer.

Carbon Design Group, a product design and development consultancy, has developed consumer, industrial and medical products for more than 20 years, according to its website. In addition to video game consumer electronics, Carbon has helped design computer mice, air purifiers, medical imaging equipment and more.

Peter Bristol, creative director at Carbon Design, said that VR is "an entirely open product category" in a statement.

"With consumer VR at its inception, the physical architectures are still unknown — We're on the cutting edge of defining how virtual reality looks, feels, and functions," Bristol said. "We're incredibly excited to be part of the team and we're looking forward to helping design the future."

The new version of the Oculus Rift development kit, which sells for $350, is expected to ship in July. Oculus unveiled its Crystal Cove prototype headset, a marked improvement over the original Rift prototype, earlier this year. A release date, price and final design for the consumer version of the Rift has not been announced by Oculus.

Facebook plans to acquire Oculus VR in a $2 billion deal, the two companies announced in March.

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