If you hadn’t heard, Samsung got a little pre-emptive at MCW in Barcelona this week and announced that it will be releasing a new Gear VR headset to the masses. While this headset is essentially the same as the previous iteration save a few minor design tweaks, it does add something which many had been asking for since the first generation: a controller.
The new remote is actually quite similar to Google’s Daydream View controller in design, sporting a touch pad near the top and some function buttons throughout. It is made to be used like a wand, aiming and interacting with objects in virtual space, and will be bundled alongside the headset. Though Samsung gave no release date or pricing structure for the new device, we wouldn’t be surprised if it was pushed out to the public alongside the Galaxy S8 sometime in mid-April.
The new controller is supposedly already compatible with the hundreds of titles that use the Gear VR trackpad housed on the side of the headset, but it’s going to take some time to create wholly new games which use it as their core method of control. While this may seem concerning for those hoping to pick up the new headset on launch, Samsung wants to reassure buyers that there will be no shortage of compatible content. The company says there are already over 70+ games and apps that are planned to take advantage of the controller, so you should have quite a bit of new virtual content to use once the headset makes its way to the market.
Samsung has not said if it is planning on selling the remote as a separate accessory, but we would have to assume that is the case given there are so many Gear VR’s in people’s homes already.
Are you looking to pick up a controller? Google’s implementation works well already, so we would hope that Samsung has used that as a baseline for improvement.