With CES 2017 now in full swing, yesterday featured several conferences by some of the biggest tech companies in the world, and one of those was Samsung. While the company hasn’t made any new virtual reality (VR) related announcements it did reveal one interesting piece of information, that it had sold over 5 million Gear VR head-mounted displays (HMDs).
Samsung Electronics America president Tim Baxter took to the stage at CES 2017 to say: “The VR products we unveiled last year have led to impressive results. More than 5 million Gear VR powered by Oculus, provide immersive entertainment to consumers globally.” He then commented about 360-degree videos, saying that: “Consumers have viewed over 10 million hours of video.”
Having this many headsets in the wild is certainly good for developers on the platform and will likely attract more in the coming year, thus making Gear VR even more attractive to consumers looking for a rich variety of content. And Samsung has done all of this in just over a year, as the first consumer version of the HMD launched in November 2015. Samsung has been heavily promoting the device, offering it free with orders of the Galaxy S7 and its various versions. Most recently anybody purchasing the Gear 360 camera could also get a Gear VR for free.
But Samsung still has a long way to go in terms of catching the most prolific VR headset, Google Cardboard. This exceedingly cheap (sometimes free) device launched in 2014 and hit 5 million way back in January last year. While Cardboard is much more universal, it is primarily a much more entry level product than Gear VR, which offers a more premium mobile experience. Google has countered that with the launch of Daydream View in November, but time will tell if it proves as popular.
Checkout the full Samsung conference below, and for all the latest updates on Gear VR, keep reading VRFocus.