As Oculus Rift’s popularity takes off, Samsung prepared to launch a virtual reality headset of their own called the Samsung Gear VR.
The popularity of virtual reality (VR) headsets is taking off. Oculus Rift was already a popular entity, with the technology sticking a screen to your face and making you feel as though you are truly within a video game, while Facebook’s subsequent $2 billion purchase of Oculus Rift’s makers, Oculus VR, only confirmed that the market is taking off. Some people are incredibly weary though, concerned that VR is a fad, a gimmick or somewhere in between. The bottom line is that without Oculus Rift (or another competing headset on the market) we don’t fully know the demand for the technology yet. However, that hasn’t stopped Samsung as they’ve now announced a VR headset of their own named the Samsung Gear VR.
Interestingly, rather than working with PCs (like the Oculus Rift) or games consoles (Sony’s Project Morpheus headset works with the PS4), the Samsung Gear VR headset actually works with just one Samsung phone. With its primary back of the box feature being its glitzy qHD screen (read: a heck of a lot better than your average HD offering), the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is just the device for the job. How the Samsung Gear VR and the Note 4 work together is that the Note 4 simply just attaches to the front of the Gear VR headset and acts as its screen; it can even deliver 3D technology. The device will cost $199 if you’re buying it without a screen but it will presumably cost an awful lot more if you don’t have a Note 4 on hand and will need a Gear VR with a screen already equipped, but this is something for potential buyers to consider.
Furthermore, it also remains to be seen how this will affect the VR market in the long term. Samsung obviously want to maximise revenue by forcing VR fans’ hands into either trumping up many wads of cash for the Samsung Gear VR with a screen or switching over to the Samsung-branded walk of mobile life and get a Note 4 too, but what impact does that have in the larger scheme of things? The Gear VR was even developed in partnership with Oculus VR so I’d be curious as to see if and how the two VR devices can compete. As noted, we still have no idea if there will be a huge demand for VR headsets or if it’s all just lip service but we’ll know more when the device is released later this year.
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