Virtual Reality Explained: Samsung GearVR

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In February, analytics firm SuperData rated Samsung’s GearVR the frontrunner of the market in terms of volume – accounting for 4.51 million of the 6.3 million VR devices shipped in 2016.

Samsung’s VR headset isn’t just the biggest thing in Mobile VR, it’s the biggest headset in VR outright.

Here’s what you need to know if you want to get one:

What Smartphones Can Run GearVR?

When it comes to Mobile VR, brand plays a significant role in what you can and can’t do. Samsung’s GearVR is only compatible with the company’s Galaxy S8, S8+ ,S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ smartphones.

gear 360 gear vr galaxy s7 Virtual Reality Explained: Samsung GearVR

How Much Does A GearVR Headset Cost?

Minus the cost of the phone you’ll need to use it, the headset is available at an RRP of $199. As of this year, it also comes bundled with a motion controller.

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What’s So Good About Samsung’s GearVR?

Essentially, the sell for Samsung’s headset boils down to their partnership with Facebook-backed VR player Oculus. The GearVR comes branded as “Powered by Oculus” and, as an experience, is able to offer up a more polished and intuitive experience. Where getting Cardboard set up for the first time can require a bit of fiddling and settings-management, the GearVR is ready to go as soon as you put the headset on.

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What’s more, since adding a motion controller to the device’s setup, the library of experiences available for the headset have become a bit more lively. A lot of mobile gaming developers have started playing in the platform, bringing titles like Hitman Go, Minecraft and Land’s End to the Oculus Store.

oculus home 1024x576 Virtual Reality Explained: Samsung GearVR

However, the partnership responsible for the headset does also come with a little bit of legal baggage. Both Samsung and Oculus are currently being sued by video game publisher ZeniMax over alleged theft of trade secrets. It’s uncertain how the legal saga around the headset will play out but it’s definitely worth keeping in mind before you invest into the GearVR platform.

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