Today, Samsung announced a slightly redesigned version of its Gear VR headset alongside the official reveal of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus smartphones. Oculus, who helps develop the Gear VR with Samsung, had some announcements of its own, including a new web browser made just for the headset.
The Oculus Browser lets Gear VR owners surf the internet through the Oculus Home service. It has its own keyboard so that users can type in a URL and go to their favorite sites. Besides text, the browser supports 2D and most 360 video content. Speaking of Oculus Home, the company will roll out an improved version of the service over the next few weeks. It should load up to three times faster, while also adding twice the amount of pixels. The new Explore feature is also supposed to make it easier to find new VR content. Finally, the Oculus Avatars, which launched earlier this year for owners of the Oculus Rift headset, will come to Gear VR with the new version of Home.
The new version of the Gear VR will also come with Samsung’s new motion controller. Oculus says almost 20 games will be available to play with the controller when it launches, and 50 more controller-supported games are expected to be added over the next few months. The new version of the Gear VR will be bundled with the controller and will go on sale on April 21 for $129, or you can get it for free if you pre-order the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. People who already own an older version of the Gear VR headset can purchase the new controller separately for $39.