New Gear VR Revealed, Controller Confirmed

by Jamie Feltham • February 26th, 2017

It’s been about six months since the launch of the last Gear VR but Samsung is already readying the next iteration of the device.

The new Gear was revealed today by Oculus just before Samsung’s 2017 Mobile World Congress event in Spain. It comes in the same black color that debuted with the last device back in August. The most interesting part of the new device, though? It comes with a new controller.

Confirming rumors from the past week, this version of the Gear includes a remote-like, single hand input device not too dissimilar to Google’s own controller for its Daydream mobile VR ecosystem. The controller boasts four buttons on its front and a touchpad. There’s a trigger too, and motion control support. Over 70 games using the controller are in development.

That’s a big step forwards for Gear, which previously relied on an on-board touchpad for input, and all of those games will be supported by this controller. Some games required a compatible bluetooth controller too.

The same rumors that revealed the controller early also stated that the headset will be compatible with Samsung’s latest smartphone, the unannounced Galaxy S8. That handset was only teased at MWC today, a change in tradition for the flagship series. It’s a move made after the company’s infamous issues with its last major phone, the enlarged Galaxy Note 7, some retail units of which started exploding after being bought. The phone was eventually recalled.

Samsung Europe addressed the issue on stage. “We did not meet the high standards of quality and excellence that we set for ourselves,” the company said, further pledging to redouble efforts in product safety.

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  • Lucidfer

    Tell me it’s not true. I can’t believe there is no change in this shit plastic design, smartphone plugging, no higher FOV, no head-tracking, even the same shitty head-band design I though we were done with?

    Switching back to Apple and advising as many people as I did to Samsung a year ago…fucking losers, it pisses me so much that they would make anti-rational uncompetitive decision at the moment they can mark a difference…

    • unreal_ed

      Unless you want to make your smartphones much larger, don’t expect the FOV to get bigger on mobile VR. The plastic design can feel a bit cheap but they have to make it actually cheap and light, first and foremost. And while I’m with you on hating the face-strap design, it does make the headset much more portable, which is another major point of consideration.

      Head-tracking would probably be a huge drain on battery and a decent amount of added weight, so I wouldn’t expect it super soon. I also wouldn’t expect it to be announced at MWC but more at Oculus Connect (tho i could be wrong about that).

      Why so much hate though? The controller is a huge step up and is gonna allow so many more forms of actually useful apps to be developed and the parity with Daydream means its even more appealing for devs to make mobile VR apps since its now easy to adapt your app from 1 market to the other.

      • Jim Cherry

        mobile vr is and for the foreseeable future will be a not great experience. Its for those who just need a vr experience. If your buying a mobile vr headset cause of some belief that vr has finally arrived and its portable prepare to be disappointed.

        • Paulo

          To the mainstream, a free GearVR (which it is, with the purchase of your phone) is amazing. Its a gateway drug. GearVR has the most users out of anything else combined ! It does an excellent job being a VR introduction.

          • Lucidfer

            It did last year, this one is quite contrary: it’s going to be hugely detrimental to VR because people are once again going to state in marble how limited and relatively crap this is.

          • Paulo

            People said that last year. Lets be real, the general public still has not tried VR or has no idea what it is. GearVR is doing the VR world a great service. Nobody who is new to vr has said “this is crap, vr is dead”. From personal experience, 95% of people were blown away, and the other 5% could tell there was room for major improvement.

          • Lucidfer

            From personal experience 95% of people are blown away, then you realise they’re not that interested because unlike the people who somewhat seen the major room for improvement, they can instinctively tell there’s no actual use or point into having VR otherwise they would already be rushing into buying one like they every year for smartphones, PCs, consoles, cameras etc…

            And when you realise that even the people who get a GearVR end-up leaving it on a shelf or a in bag because this turns-out to be unpractical or usable even for basic cinema/video playback, you realise that there’s no just a room for improvement, there’s not even the first door towards a real product device that was crossed yet.

        • Lucidfer

          The fact that you are unambitious and ignorant of technologies from research to off-the-shelves, doesn’t mean mobile VR will not be a great experience.

          However if you are talking about the fact that mobile companies are the scummiest most money-hungry shit companies of the whole tech industry because they don’t have people like Steve Jobs or Matias Duarte doing their fucking job anymore, therefor they’re stuck on milking profit out of counter-productive decisions to spare ridiculous amount of greedy money NOT to update their smartphones in a way that make sense, then sure.

          But in this case it means VR is dead next year. Cry tears of kool-aid how you want, but…the failure scenario for this VR cycle has just seriously gone up.

        • unreal_ed

          To me a big part of that was the lack of ANY good input. Sure you could buy a gamepad for mobile, but who the hell does that? less than 1% of people, that’s for sure.

          Now that it has a (probably) pretty decent controller, you actually have the design space to make simple-but-good games. Heck, even having it act as a pointer similar to a mouse is a HUGE help in giving developers options to control their games. And you can simulate a hand for social VR apps. It’s a massive step up

  • VR Geek

    So this is 3DOF?

  • jimrp

    Why. S8 screen seems to be tHe same as last S7. Seems to be a rehash + copy. Hope im wrong.

    • Lucidfer

      because stockholder parasite leeches.

      • Lucidfer

        So I got “moderated” for this comment I guess? Okay I’m out of UploadVR, no wonder discussions are more interesting on the other specialised medias…

    • Xron

      It has ‘Iris scanner’ now…
      Ehh not even 4k screen for better vr and 360 videos, kinda sad -.-

  • CaptainAwesomer

    The controller makes this a nice improvement over the old version.

  • Joseph Drew

    Where’s the top strap?? If it doesn’t have a top strap, I’ll just get the Google Daydream.