Samsung launching Gear VR this year

Oculus providing software for Innovator Edition headset, says it's a beta for enthusiasts instead of final consumer product

Samsung unveiled its first steps into virtual reality today. Early reports of the move were pretty much on the nose, as the company's Gear VR is indeed a headset dock for a mobile device, with Samsung tapping Oculus to power the product on the software end of things.

The Gear VR headset works exclusively with the new Note 4, with a pair of adjustable lenses mimicking stereoscopic displays using the phone's 5.7-inch screen. The initial version of the headset is being called the Gear VR Innovator Edition, and Oculus is calling it "an early-access, beta-version of the device for developers and enthusiasts rather than a final consumer product."

"We don't have the raw horsepower of a high end gaming PC (yet), but there are valuable compensations that make it a very interesting trade off, and many developers will thrive on the platform, especially as it improves at the rapid pace of the mobile ecosystem," Oculus CTO John Carmack said.

The Gear VR headset will begin shipping this fall, but no price has been set yet.

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Latest comments (8)

matthew bennion Web Development 5 years ago
All aboard the hype train!
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VR will screw itself if the first few products out the gate are crap. First impressions are everything. But Im sure that wont stop some companies from riding the VR hype train and doing a short sighted money grab.
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James Berg Games User Researcher 5 years ago
The Gear VR headset works exclusively with the new Note 4
Why Samsung? Why would you limit your market to a tiny segment?
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Show all comments (8)
Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 5 years ago
I guess the reason Samsung limits the gear vr to the Note 4 is because of the screen it uses and the hardware inside so it can provide a decent experience, maybe they'll open it up for other phones later.. But it doesn't even work with the Note 4 edge... So the group of people being able to use the set will be very small..

Personally I also think, this is a good example of what the actual consumer version of the Oculus rift might look like in the end.. The touchpad on the side is a nice 'touch' though, hehe..
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Julian Williams Founder, WIZDISH Ltd.5 years ago
I've always felt that if VR is to take off in a big way it must involve mobile.

PCs are essential to push the envelop but they've also become an appliance that most of us don't replace unless we have to.
Samsung will know that they could inflict a disproportionate amount of damage to themselves if this isn't polished.

I happen to be looking for a new mobile phone anyway and I think I've just decided which one..

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Julian Williams on 4th September 2014 11:20am

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Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments5 years ago
The Gear VR headset works exclusively with the new Note 4
Why Samsung? Why would you limit your market to a tiny segment?
I imagine the headset is reliant on the correct size screen, and enough horsepower to render for both eyes. For a "preview" launch like this, it makes sense to target a single device.

Also, the notes are hardly a "tiny segment" :

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Neil Young on 4th September 2014 11:29am

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Julian Williams Founder, WIZDISH Ltd.5 years ago
10 million units in 2 months isn't too shabby

Nice link Neil
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Dan Tubb Investment manager, Edge5 years ago
I agree. A few months back I got to try a prototype, which at the time I was asked not to talk about, but I think I can safely do so now given it has been announced. That version used a Galaxy 4 as the screen. The effect was, of course, brilliant, and I became an instant fan of VR. But the picture quality was barely adequate, and this is from a screen that looks superb when viewed in your hand.

I believe the Note 4 has a pixel density of 550 per inch, compared to the Galaxy 5 having 430.

Based on my brief experience of the product I would say you really need those extra pixels. I understand entirely why Samsung are using the Note 4 as a minimum. Those of us who spend our time watching full HD films, or playing high resolution games would not be really satisfied by the Galaxy screen quality. And as Todd correctly points out, first impressions are very important.
I am just thankful that my phone contract ran out just after this announcement so I can go Note 4 not G5.
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