At their Barcelona press conference earlier this morning, Samsung not only announced a new Galaxy Tab S3, they also brought along a new version of their Gear VR headset which now comes with a controller.
The headset will also get an improved field of view thanks to new 42mm lenses inside with ‘advanced distortion correction technology’ that should help to correct some of the instances of motion sickness felt by some users when using a Gear VR headset.
The highlight for this announcement though is the new Gear VR controller which looks strikingly familiar to anyone who has used a HTC Vive, though the Gear VR only comes with a single controller. The controller is also compact enough to be stored inside the headset when not in use.
The controller has a flat touchpad control on top with back and home buttons above volume controls, the controller also includes a trigger button. Inside the controller there’s an accelerometer, gyrometer, and magnetic sensors built-in to offer some spatial awareness when using the controller.
Samsung lists the feature set for the controller as such:
- Various Motion Input for a Better VR Experience – The Touchpad provides quicker selection and interaction in VR apps, enabling various forms of motion, including the ability to point, drag and drop, tilt, shoot, among other actions, while the Trigger allows for enhanced gaming experiences.
- Minimised Movement for Long-time Use – The Home, Volume and Back keys located on the Controller give users everything they need in easy reach so that they can keep their focus on immersive content.
- A Secure Grip for Comfortable Play – Even during the most active movements, the Controller’s wrist strap offers a secure grip for comfortable and secure play.
Samsung has announced there are 70 apps/games listed with controller support for the Gear VR that are currently in development, though the built-in touchpad means that any game with support for that will be ready to use the controller.
While the Samsung Gear VR with Controller will support both micro USB and USB Type-C port thanks to an adapter in the headset, the controller runs on AAA batteries instead, it’s quite handy if you’re wanting to play but need to quickly get that controller up and running.
The announcement of a new Gear VR which is compatible with the Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6 edge+, S6 and S6 edge is of course telegraphing the announcement of the Galaxy S8/S8 Plus, though Samsung won’t confirm it you’d imagine that this will also be compatible with those devices when they’re launched later this year.