The wait for news on the release date of Samsung’s anticipated Gear VR smartphone-based virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) continues. At its reveal in September 2014 the company had suggested that the device would be arriving in mid-October. It’s now nearly a month on from then and there’s still no sign of the kit’s consumer launch, despite the compatible Samsung Note Galaxy Note 4 smartphone having been on sale for a while now. According to an industry analyst who cites ‘industry insiders’, fans could now be looking at a 2015 release.
That analyst is Paul Mueller from Los Angeles. He told Examiner that “The Gear VR is simply not ready for consumers. There are problems with overheating. There are problems with battery life. And there is also a lack of content.” It’s important to take Mueller’s comments with caution, considering that these claims aren’t widespread at this point in time. That said, few outlets will have had the chance to try the HMD for long enough to observe some of these issues.
The comment concerning a lack of content is also strange given that many developers had pledged to be ready for the launch of Gear VR back at its reveal. Since then Samsung has said that the device would be launching with a free store only, and would launch a premium store later down the line so that developers could actually profit from the device. Of course, it could well be that many developers simply weren’t prepared to this free store set up, which would require them to release demos instead of full products, unless they choose to give their titles away for free.
Of course, Samsung and partner Oculus VR have always said that Gear VR would launch as an ‘Innovator Edition’ aimed at developers and early adopters. The labelling seems to suggest that the first iteration of the device was never truly intended to be truly ‘consumer ready’.
These comments arrive before the 2014 Samsung Developer Conference truly gets underway. With a wide range of virtual reality (VR) presentations laid out over the next two days, it’s hoped that some news about Gear VR might finally be shared here. VRFocus is at the event to bring you all the latest on the device and will report back with any news.