Gamers rejoice – virtual reality for mobiles is here.
The gaming community all went wild when the Oculus Rift came out and hopes and dreams for next-generation virtual reality games came to life. We’re certainly ushering in a new age of gaming and technology, and virtual reality seems to be setting the stage for more than just the gaming industry to benefit from it. Facebook’s acquisition of the Oculus Rift promised to turn social sharing into a more solid experience, but the Oculus Rift’s technology has been used elsewhere to power VR gaming.
Oculus has teamed up with Samsung to bring Samsung Gear VR to the world – the only logical next step to virtual reality gaming. “Over the last 12 months, we’ve been collaborating with Samsung on the future of mobile virtual reality,” Oculus explains on their website. “The project actually began as an experiment to see if great VR was possible on next-generation mobile hardware.”
Consumers had originally been skeptical of the Gear VR, with Hayden Dingman of PC World even expressing concerns that Samsung could destroy mobile gaming virtual reality for everyone. Samsung has a tendency to be first, you see, regardless of whether or not the implementation is right, and with a nascent technology like virtual reality that could be the difference between “This technology changes everyone’s lives” and “Virtual reality goes the same way it did back in the nineties,” he explained.
But it seems that after some testing, Samsung’s Gear VR has assuaged all doubts. Unlike the Oculus Rift, the Gear VR doesn’t have its own screen. Instead, it has a dock for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, making full use of its WQHD screen, which O2 says “displays four-times the number of pixels as standard HD, giving you a picture that is double the quality”. The device clicks into the dock that is the Gear VR and then you’re free to play VR-optimized games or watch movies without ever having to take the headset off.
The lightweight Gear VR also introduces the Oculus Home, where players can purchase and download Oculus-optimized games and movies, navigating through the menu with a touchpad on the side of the Gear VR. Demos for the device have included movie trailers, and even some classic Oculus Rift games, and while it’s unclear how pricing will be for content released for the Gear VR, it’s definitely worth waiting around for.
Samsung seems to really have outdone themselves with the Gear VR, and they’re giving Apple some stiff competition. It seems Samsung may be focusing on delivering more of an immersive experience to their customers, continually working to innovate and explore what’s trending in the industry to date. If there’s anything they need to look into however, it’s the price for their products, especially since Archos has already released a budge-friendly VR headset that does basically what the Samsung Gear VR does, and only for $25! Unlike the Gear VR, the Archos VR Glasses promise to have full compatibility with any phone that’s no bigger than 6 inches, whether it runs on Android or iOS.