Samsung and Oculus are announcing some big changes to their Gear VR mobile VR headset. A new controller, new experiences and a brand new Oculus Home are either arriving today or on the way for fans of this powerful little system.
Oculus Home, the main content and navigation hub, is getting a top to bottom redesign. According to Oculus:
Today, we’re also rolling out our biggest mobile platform update yet. We’ve rebuilt Oculus Home from the ground up, reducing load times by up to 3x! That gets you into VR faster, while our new Explore feature makes it easy to find great content and play videos in VR. Plus, we’ve brought unprecedented graphic clarity to mobile VR, with twice the pixel resolution in Home—think of it like upgrading from Standard Definition to High Definition.
The new Gear VR model will be releasing on April 21 at $129 and will feature a bundled wireless controller. Along with that controller, there will be a slew of new content coming to Gear as well.
According to Oculus there will be “nearly 20 titles to choose from in April, with 50 more to follow over the next few months,” that specifically utilize the new controller.
Older games that don’t require a bluetooth gamepad can “can all be played comfortably with the [new controller’s] built-in touchpad.
These new titles will also include ports of Oculus Touch games such as Dead and Buried and Ultrawings.
Oculus Avatars will now work on Gear VR as well and can be created on the mobile platform for the first time. Avatars will launch, “on Gear VR alongside the new Oculus Home, so you can take your avatar with you into a range of experience including Oculus Rooms, Hulu, Drop Dead,Fusion Wars, and vTime, plus new titles like Hologrid and The Guidance Team.”
Lastly, the new home will also feature an integrated web browser for the very first time. According to Oculus this will be “a fully native app that renders incredibly sharp video, images, and text in Gear VR…the browser brings 2D and most 360 video content right into Oculus Home, with all the benefits of our newly built experience.”
Oculus head of mobile product, Max Cohen explained during an interview that Web VR features will be coming to Gear VR in due time as well.