Oculus VR, the virtual-reality technology company acquired by Facebook in July 2014, announced at its Oculus Connect 2 event that it teamed up with Samsung on the $99 consumer edition of Gear VR, which will come to the U.S. in November (with more than 40 countries to follow shortly thereafter).
The unit will be compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, S6 edge +, S6, and S6 edge.
Other announcements from Oculus Connect 2 were:
- “Dozens” of games crafted for virtual reality will launch for Gear VR, including Land’s End by UsTwo, Gunjack by CCP Games and Smash Hit by Mediocre.
- Oculus Arcade for Gear VR will feature classic arcade games including Sonic the Hedgehog, Gauntlet, Spy Hunter and Pac-Man from developers including Sega, Warner Bros. Midway and Bandai Namco.
- A vastly expanded content library for Oculus Video, with offerings from 20th Century Fox (including Alien Trilogy and X-Men) and Lionsgate (including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 and Insurgent), as well as live-streaming video from Twitch.
- The 360-degree videos launched by Facebook earlier this week will also be available via Oculus Video.
- The entire Netflix catalog of original series, documentaries and movies is now available via Gear VR.
- Minecraft will ship for Oculus Rift and Gear VR in the spring of 2016.
- Oculus VR announced the Oculus Ready PC program, identifying hardware that is compatible with the virtual-reality technology, and offerings powered by Nvidia, AMD and Intel will debut in early 2016, several at price points under $1,000.
- Software-development kit Rift SDK 1.0 will arrive in December, and games built with the SDK will be released on the same day.
- Improvements to user profiles will include the ability for users to personalized their accounts and for developers to customize information using elements such as OculusIDs and avatar pictures.
- Additional platform and games services such as in-app purchases will be added, along with social features including friend lists and achievements.
- Oculus Concepts—which the company described as “a new way for developers to distribute content”—will launch on Gear VR shortly, followed by Rift next year.
- The Oculus Touch pair of tracked controllers the company introduced in June will be made available to developers, along with the SDK, and elements such as controller position, recognizing hand controllers and driving the haptics avatar hands will be fully integrated into Unity and Unreal.
- New art tool Oculus Medium—which allows users to create “works of art in virtual reality” via the Touch controllers—will ship alongside those controllers in the second quarter of 2016.
- Eight new games are coming for Oculus Touch: Final Approach by Phaser Lock Interactive; Moon Strike by Big Dorks; Pulsar Arena by ZeroTransformation; Job Simulator by Owlchemy Labs; I Expect You to Die by Schell Games; Nimbus Nights by Otherworld Interactive; Dead & Buried by Oculus Studios Team; and Surgeon Simulator by Bossa Studios.
- Epic debuted Oculus Touch demo Bullet Train, described as “a world-scale VR gunfight experience.”
Readers: What are your thoughts on Oculus VR and virtual reality?