Major console and PC-based virtual reality (VR) is nearly here. Over the course of the next 8 months we should see the launch of the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) leading right the way through to the halfway point of 2016. But, before any of these devices launch, VR fans are expecting the arrival of Samsung and Gear VR’s mobile-based HMD, the Gear VR. In fact, one developer working on the device, Ustwo Games, thinks that this could be the most significant launch of all 4.
Technical Director Peter Pashley said as much to VRFocus in an interview that will be published in full later this week. In a discussion surrounding the team’s upcoming Gear VR title, Land’s End, Pashley said: “I think mobile VR will be the way VR comes into people’s homes. I think mobile VR is the broad future of VR. And I think that’s underappreciated by a lot of people. I think, understandably, there’s a lot of excitement about the heights that VR can go to, the height of fidelity, the height of interaction and tracking and all that.
“And that should excite people but I think, in terms of the actual mass market and the future of the medium, it will be through mobile VR because people have already got these actually fairly high-powered, complete devices in their pockets,” he added. “And if you can spend $99 or maybe in the future $50, $20 – who knows? – for a bit of plastic to strap it in to I think it’s a no brainer that that would be how most people would experience most of their VR.
“So my hopes are high for mobile VR in general. It should be interesting to see over the next year how that adoption gets taken up and I think it’s going to be interesting to see how other companies respond to Gear VR,” Pashley concluded.
As mentioned above, the new Gear VR will cost just $99 USD and supports all of Samsung’s 2015 smartphones. Land’s End itself is a first-person puzzle title that’s set to launch on 30th October 2015. VRFocus will continue to follow the experience closely, reporting back with the latest updates on its progress.