Last year, Samsung treated Galaxy Note 4 owners with an accessory that allows them to use their new phablet to view virtual reality scenes - the Samsung Gear VR. An updated version of the VR headset was also introduced back in March for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
The South Korean tech giant typically launches new Gear VR headsets along with new devices. However, when the company announced its new Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ handsets yesterday, a third generation headset is noticeably absent.
Now, users of the newly revealed Samsung mobile devices don't have to worry as Samsung still plans to launch an updated version of the VR accessory. Speaking to CNET, Samsung Co-CEO JK Shin confirmed that a next-gen Gear VR is indeed in the works and will be coming "soon."
Unfortunately, that's the only detail he divulged. He mentioned that the device's arrival will be a "surprise." As such, we can only take that statement as a hint that it'll be launched at the IFA 2015 on September. The said expo is the next major electronics-related event that will happen this year.
As mentioned, Samsung joined the virtual reality bandwagon in 2014 when it unveiled the first Gear VR headset for the Galaxy Note 4. The original device was designed through a partnership with Facebook-owned Oculus VR, an American virtual reality technology company.
It is interesting to hear that the South Korean device maker is partnering with Oculus, given that Facebook is also planning to release its own Oculus-powered VR headset early next year.
The global smartphone and tablet markets are reportedly showing signs of slowing down. That said, virtual reality accessories are seen as the next potentially profit-rich battlefront for device manufacturers. Naturally, various established smartphone makers are joining the quest to release the best VR headsets to offer alongside their own mobile devices.
For instance, HTC has teamed up with Valve, an online game distribution platform, to create its much hyped HTC Vive VR headset based on the SteamVR platform. Sony is anticipated to launch its Project Morpheus headset designed for the PlayStation 4 by the end of 2015. Meanwhile, Microsoft is also set to enter the competition with its innovative HoloLens device.
Apparently, the next-generation Samsung Gear VR will work with both the new Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. The two Gear VR models released earlier have been sold for $199.99, so it's safe to assume that the company will also offer the updated Gear VR at around the same price.