Oculus and Samsung claim to have started over with their smartphone-based Gear VR as the sector’s focus once again shifts to mobile.
Both Oculus and HTC have alluded to a shift of priorities away from their high-end headsets and toward the more financially accessible smartphone market, and this new Gear VR will be the driver for Oculus.
The new headset will come with a Google Daydream-style motion controller. At launch next month there will be nearly” 20 compatible titles available, with 50 to follow in the next few months”.
Two of these will even be Oculus Rift ports – Dead and Buried and Ultrawings. Oculus avatars are also coming to Gear VR, along with a dedicated VR web browser.
The new Gear VR will cost $129 – that a jump up from the existing model’s $99 RRP. The controller on its own will cost $40. Both will be released on April 21st.
That’s not to say that existing owners will miss out.
Today, we’re also rolling out our biggest mobile platform update yet,” Samsung said of its rejuvenated Oculus Home portal. We’ve rebuilt Oculus Home from the ground up, reducing load times by up to 3x. That gets you into VR faster, while our new Explore feature makes it easy to find great content and play videos in VR.
Plus, we’ve brought unprecedented graphic clarity to mobile VR, with twice the pixel resolution in Home—think of it like upgrading from Standard Definition to High Definition.”
Samsung has also revealed its new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus handsets, which will arrive in the UK at the end of next month. Prices will start at a not inconsiderable 689.