Despite their corporate fraternity, the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR don’t cross over with each other very often when it comes to content. Certain applications will often be available on the one and not the other (looking at you March Madness). Game ports do happen but they typically flow from the less powerful Gear on up to its beefy older brother. Today, however, we can reveal that at least two Oculus Rift games have been ported to the Gear VR in one form or another. At a press event in San Francisco, we had the chance to see both Ultrawings and Dead and Buried running on the Gear for the very first time.
The down-porting of both these titles is made even more impressive by the fact that they are both games that require Oculus Touch. This means that not only do these games need to be reworked without the positional tracking of the Rift, they need to figure out how to exist without the only input method they were originally programmed to use. Fortunately, the Gear VR is getting a nifty new motion controller to make things a bit easier.
Even with the new controller, there’re still a ton of input features that need to be stripped out of a game like Dead and Buried or Ultrawings in order to make them playable. The Ultrawings demo we played, for example, takes out much of the pre-flight button presses and switch flips. Instead you just press a button to increase the throttle and focus mainly on moving your wrist –rather than your entire arm — to steer.
Dead and Buried — a game that’s all about using positional tracking to find cover and get the perfect shot — was only playable in the multiplayer “shootout” mode. In this mode, all I had to do was raise my controller when I heard a bell and try my best to shoot the enemy standing out in the open directly across from me. That enemy was controlled by a real human being over wifi. In this case it was Oculus’ head of mobile product Max Cohen. Cohen explained that online matchmaking is completely possible for Dead and Buried’s Gear version
Cohen also added that both ports are still in early days with no clear release date or price just yet. However, the fact that it’s now even possible for Touch games to exist on a mobile VR platform like the Gear opens up some seriously cool possibilities.
What Touch game would you most like to see come to the Gear VR? Let us know in the comments below.