Oculus VR and Samsung’s Gear VR mobile-based virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) is finally on sale in the US. Having launched earlier this month for $99 USD, VR fans can now head to select Best Buy, T-Mobile and AT&T outlets to pick one up or order one online. But that it looks like the latest edition of the device isn’t all that Samsung has up its sleeve for VR. A recent patent seems to suggest that the company is developing a brand new controller that’s designed specifically for its new HMD.
Sammobile uncovered the patent, which was listed in February 2015 for a Bluetooth gamepad that could link to smartphones and tablets, but is intended for use with ‘head mounted apparatus’. The device doesn’t appear to be dramatically different to other Bluetooth gamepads, including Samsung’s own version that was bundled in with earlier editions of the Gear VR, dubbed Innovator Editions. In fact, the button set looks almost identical to that earlier device, with an anlagogue stick, two d-pads and a set of four face buttons with two shoulder buttons. It appears to be slimmer than the other device, too.
Samsung itself is yet to offer any comment on the device, though we’ll hopefully hear more about it soon now that the consumer version is available. The latest edition of the kit supports Samsungs range of 2015 smartphones, including the flagship Galaxy S6, the curved Galaxy S6 edge, the enlarged Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 edge plus. The device is yet to be released in countries outside the US, though early listings and pre-orders for specific territories are starting to creep up online.
VRFocus will continue to follow Gear VR closely reporting back with the latest updates on its progress.