Virtual reality (VR) fans were left somewhat disappointed yesterday as Samsung’s latest Unpacked press conference came and went without so much as a mention of the consumer version of the Gear VR mobile head-mounted display (HMD). The kit has been promised for launch this year, a statement that was recently backed up by co-creator Oculus VR’s Palmer Luckey, meaning that the company is running out of events to reveal it at. But, according to the electronics giant itself, fans shouldn’t worry; the launch is still scheduled to take place ‘soon’.
Samsung co-CEO and Head of Mobile JK Shin confirmed as much to Cnet following its press conference in New York City, New York. Shin promised the kit would arrive ‘soon’ but noted that its exact date was being kept as ‘a surprise’. Does this mean that fans can expect that launch close to the consumer Gear VR’s reveal? It’s certainly possible; the smartphone industry usually has a quick turnaround from a product’s reveal to its release, though the original Gear VR didn’t launch for some 3 months after its debut.
While the consumer Gear VR wasn’t present at yesterday’s show Samsung did reveal 2 brand new smartphones in the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+. The former succeeds last year’s Galaxy Note 4, which was the first phone to support the Gear VR. The latter is simply an enlarged version of the Galaxy S6 Edge, which made its debut in March 2015. Samsung hasn’t yet commented on its either phone will support any version of Gear VR either old or new. Both are set to release later on in the month.
VRFocus will continue to follow the new Gear VR closely, reporting back with any further updates on it.