Gear VR: Samsung, Oculus Announce Virtual Reality Headset for Galaxy Note 4

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By Brandy Shaul Comments

gear vr 650Oculus VR and Samsung have today announced the development of the Samsung Gear VR, a mobile virtual reality headset, powered by Oculus, for the equally new Galaxy Note 4. The headset offers a wireless experience, as users will connect the Note 4 to the headset, with the Note 4 acting as the screen, and can instantly dive into a variety of titles, including games and Oculus-built apps.

Oculus has spent a year working on its new Oculus Mobile SDK, and has created four Gear VR “experiences” that will launch alongside the headset.

The first is Oculus Home, an interface for connecting to the Oculus Store. The store itself allows users to discover, download and launch headset supported content. Another app, Oculus Cinema, provides a virtual movie theater experience, where users can view any of their 2D or 3D movies in a selection of virtual theater settings. Two final offerings, Oculus 360 Videos and Oculus 360 Photos, allow users to view panoramic images and videos with the headset.

“The magic of a completely portable and wireless VR headset is easy to underestimate until you have experienced it. We don’t have the raw horsepower of a high end gaming PC (yet), but there are valuable compensations that make it a very interesting trade off, and many developers will thrive on the platform, especially as it improves at the rapid pace of the mobile ecosystem,” said Oculus CTO John Carmack, on the company’s blog.

Third-party app developers have also already announced a few products for the headset.temple run vr 650For instance, Temple Run developer Imangi Studios has announced Temple Run VR, a new version of the endless running phenomenon that takes players to an icy world filled with mountains, gaps between cliffs, snowy bridges and more. Players experience the game from a first-person perspective, without the need for an on-screen avatar.

Next is nDreams, which has announced two apps for the platform. The first is Gunner, a space combat game that’s being co-published by Oculus VR. The game allows users to wield “The Gun,” a large turret, in their effort to “fight enemies across the galaxy and help unite humanity.” Gunner will launch later this year, and will include multiple gameplay modes, including a story mode.

A second nDreams experience, Perfect Beach, takes users to a tropical beach, where they can relax while listening to the gentle sounds of waves and music playing in the background.

“Perfect Beach was a great opportunity to create a different type of experience that only VR allows. In this day and age, we are constantly contactable 24 hours a day. We therefore wanted to produce something that gave you time to de-stress, unwind and forget about your stressful day, and we believe we have this with Perfect Beach,” said Patrick O’Luanaigh, CEO of nDreams, in a company statement.

Other announced content will come from DreamWorks, Vevo, DeNA and others.

The initial Samsung Gear VR release, scheduled for this fall, is for the Innovator Edition of the headset, an “early access, beta-version” of the product for developers and enthusiasts. A final consumer version will be released later. The Oculus Mobile SDK will be available before the end of October.