Samsung released its very first commercial virtual reality headset last November, the Gear VR, although a developer’s edition has been available since December of 2014. The device has received mostly positive reviews, although some note that it proves that virtual reality still has a long way to go.
Wearable gave Samsung’s virtual reality headset four stars.
“It’s immersive, sure, and that’s the buzzword but you won’t just be immersed by the images and audio, you’ll feel like you’re really there. If you find yourself at the edge of a rock in ustwo’s Gear VR game Land’s End, you’ll get a bit of vertigo, it’s that powerful. In short, it’s magic.”
Like others, Wearable notes that Samsung’s set represents virtual reality a lot more than Google’s Cardboard virtual reality project. The review, also like others, notes that the 1440 x 2560 AMOLED screen may look good on a smartphone, but a virtual reality headset really screams for a 4K screen.
The Verge isn’t as thrilled with the Gear VR as some other sites. Reviewer Adi Robertson can’t decide whether or not the Gear VR is a novelty or the beginning of the virtual reality era.
“Once you’ve given everyone you know five minutes of virtual reality, is there much left to do? I’m not sure there is yet — and I’m not sure when that will change,” Robertson claims.
The review adds that after five minutes, the headset becomes somewhat uncomfortable. However, many users have said they have been able to go almost forty minutes without feeling uncomfortable. In the end, Robertson believes the Gear VR is worth it if you have a Samsung device, since you only have to pay $100.
There is good news if you are interested in the Gear VR and are considering buying a Samsung phone. The Verge has the news.
“But there’s an even better deal happening on it right now at Best Buy: it’s offering a Gear VR for free alongside most purchases of a Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, or Galaxy S6 Edge+.”
There is a lot of content for the Gear VR now when compared to when it was first released in November. It sounds like Samsung is going to create even more content for the Gear VR (and other platforms) as the Korean company is now creating its own virtual reality studio.
According to Tech Times, Samsung is really stepping up its game in virtual reality production and will soon launch its own VR movie studio in New York City. This information is based on an announcement at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. However, Samsung’s marketing officer Mark Mathieu said that the studio would be situated in Samsung’s office, where the company’s marketing team is.
Samsung is preparing for the onslaught of virtual reality and hopes it’s more successful than the 3D craze from 2010 and 2011 that never seemed to catch fire. Besides the Gear VR, Oculus, who made the Gear VR, will release the Oculus Rift at the end of March. Sony is getting ready to release the PlayStation VR and HTC will soon come out with the HTC Vive. It looks like virtual reality is finally becoming a reality.
[Photo via Daryl Deino]