GDC 2018: Oculus’ Hardware Reports Reveal Less Than Half Of Gear Owners Use Motion Controller

by Jamie Feltham • March 23rd, 2018

This week, Oculus launched a brand new Hardware Reports system, intended to give Rift and Gear developers an insight into what types of CPUs, smartphones and operating systems VR users are utilizing. The reports are open to anyone and everyone, though, and they reveal a somewhat surprising statistic about Gear VR and its compatible motion controller.

The report, which is updated daily with information gathered over the past 28 days, reveals that less than half of Gear VR owners are currently using the headset’s remote-like controller, which was introduced last year. Today’s reading states that 59.1% of users do not have a controller.

The statistic isn’t hugely shocking given that the controller was only introduced last year and Gear has been on sale since late 2014. It’s now bundled in with every Gear VR sold while existing owners can pick one up for around $30, so that figure will surely grow as time moves on. Still, with a vast number of games on Gear now utilizing the device’s three degrees of freedom (3DOF) motion controls, we’d hoped to see wider usage of the kit one year on from its reveal.

That doesn’t mean Gear VR owners without the controller are helpless, though. The device has an on-board touchpad that can be used for basic interactions and many of its apps can be controlled with gaze-based interactivity, too. You can even pair up a gamepad to play some titles.

Either way, Oculus’ Go headset, which is essentially a standalone version of Gear VR without the need for a mobile phone for $199, will come bundled with a very similar motion controller, so everyone on that platform will be using it.

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