Samsung’s new GearVR virtual reality headset only costs $99

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Oculus Arcade’ brings ‘Pac-Man’ and other classics to Gear VR.

Samsung unveiled the new Gear VR mobile virtual reality headset at the Oculus Connect developer conference in Los Angeles Thursday: The new Gear VR will start selling in time for Black Friday for $99 in the U.S., and will be available around the world soon after. The new version is being developed to support all models of Samsung 2015 Smartphones and has a headset expected to be 22 percent lighter and more comfortable.

Overly expensive, a lack of content, a slightly-cumbersome headset—all of these were real problems that made GearVR an impressive demo device but a poor value proposition for normal people. Oculus also launched Oculus Video, which will put a consumer wearing virtual reality goggles in a 360-degree virtual theater where they can view movies that they can rent or purchase for this environment, revealed Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe. “VR is finally here, next year millions will experience it for first time,” Iribe said. “Year over year, VR will build into something incredible.” To that end, Iribe also reported that Oculus Touch is schedule to ship in mid-2016. But at Oculus Connect on Thursday, Samsung’s Peter Koo came on stage to announce a brand new GearVR, which I guess we’ll call “GearVR 2015” from now on. Oculus also showed off a slew of new games coming to Gear VR, including Land’s End (from the Monument Valley team), Gunjack and the new VR Adventure Time game. Samsung first introduced the Gear VR headset, which makes use of consumer’s phones for computing and displaying VR experiences, in September of 2014.

This is a system developed to allow the user to use their hands as part of a VR experience. “With Touch it’s easy to wave or point at something, or pick up a vrrtual object and hand it to something in another part of the world,” Iribe said, asserting, “Social is going to be a big part of VR. The big news though is that when GearVR 2015 ships in November (pre-Black Friday, says Peter Koo) it’ll be compatible with all of Samsung’s flagship 2015 phones—the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, and Note 5.

The previous Gear VRs had a smooth trackpad and sometimes it was to tough to know if you were touching it or just the unsensitive shell of the headset when you couldn’t see for yourself. While many are highly anticipating the flagship Oculus Rift headset release, the fact that it needs to be wired to an expensive gaming computer means it will have a much more niche audience. GearVR is embracing its media side and bringing Netflix and Twitch streaming to the device, with more content providers (Hulu, et cetera) coming in the near future. You’ll get to keep your current user name (as long as it doesn’t contain invalid characters, in which case you’ll have to go through a few extra steps to make the transfer), and all your old comments will eventually (not immediately) migrate with you.

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