Samsung’s Gear VR smartphone-based virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) is set to launch in a matter of weeks in the USA. A specific release date is yet to be revealed but the company has confirmed that it will arrive in early December 2014. Also unannounced is an official launch line-up for the device, which is said to feature only a free store at first. However a glimpse of the potential Gear VR launch line-up can now be seen through screenshots reportedly taken from a Galaxy Note 4 smartphone that’s sporting the most recent update. Said screenshots can now be seen below.
According to the images the latest Galaxy Note 4, update will allow users to access a setup menu for the Gear VR and the phone. Despite not owning the kit, it appears the user has been able to access a non-VR version of Oculus Home, the storefront that will exclusively sell VR content. Interestingly, the setup notes that the Gear VR itself will include an SD card that ‘contains content for Oculus apps’. This content seemingly refers to videos and photos to view in the Oculus Cinema, 360 photos and 360 videos apps.
As for content, the aforementioned apps can currently be found in a ‘Featured’ section along with VR Gallery. Other content seems to be split into two sections. The first is ‘Experiences’, which seems to offer titles that aren’t strictly videogames. These include Wemolab’s Blu VR, Strangers With Patrick Watson, Titans of Space, Playhead, Cirque du Soleil’s Hold on to Your Seat and VR Introduction from Framestore.
The final section is of course ‘Games’, where a number of titles can already be found. Featured in the images are Justin Moravetz’s Proton Pulse and Vanguard V as well as BombSquad VR, Anshar Wars, Dreadhalls, Romans from Mars, Ikarus, Darknet and Herobound. Also appearing are Viral, Jeff Minter’s Minotaur Rescue VR and Coastink Software’s Esper. Interestingly these last three are all listed as either demo or ‘Lite’ versions. Add to that the fact that every piece of content shown is listed as free and it certainly appears that the free store idea is still very much in place.
That likely means that most of the content listed on the store is simple a sample or demo, unless more developers are going the route of E McNeill’s Darknet, which will be offered for free at launch. It’s also important to note that each of these titles has been previously revealed, giving this rumour some weight. That said, Samsung is still yet to make an official announcement as to if this is really what Gear VR users can expect to find on launch day.
Gear VR is currently priced at $199 USD and will arrive as an Innovator Edition. VRFocus will continue to follow the device in the build up to launch, reporting back with all of the latest updates.