Samsung’s Gear VR smartphone-based virtual reality (VR) device has had a strange few months. Since its confident reveal in September 2014 the company has failed to provide a solid release date, letting the suggested mid-October 2014 window come and go without so much as an explanation of why it hadn’t released. Now, nearly a month on from that window, the company has finally given Gear VR a launch window at its 2014 Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, USA.
Gear VR will launch in early December 2014. As has been revealed before, the kit is launching as an ‘Innovator Edition’ which is specifically targeted at VR enthusiasts looking to finally get their hands on an HMD branded consumer-worthy as well as developers looking to work with the device. Following the end of the keynote VR fans will be able to pre-register to be alerted to pre-orders opening at this microsite.
The kit is compatible with the recently-released Samsung Galaxy Note 4, an Android smartphone that boasts a 5.7 inch Super AMOLED Quad HD display that bests the 1080p OLED display seen in the Oculus Rift HMD’s second development kit (DK2). The device features its own on-board head-tracking technology, meaning that it would rely on any of the phone’s built-in systems. It also includes a slot for headphones and a touchpad on the side that allows for basic interface navigation and interaction.
A flood of VR videogames have been announced for Gear VR since its reveal, including Jeff Minter’s Minotaur Rescue VR, Fireproof Games’ Omega Agent and event Oculus VR’s own VR Quest, marking the first internally-developed title from the Oculus Rift makers. Sixense has even worked to integrate is STEM motion controller with the device.
Gear VR is said to be launching with a free store initially, offering demos and other experiences. In time a premium store will be added so that developers may sell full videogames. More experiences are expected to be revealed at SDC 2014 this week. VRFocus is at the event and will be bringing you all the latest updates on Gear VR and its compatible videogames.