Samsung's Gear VR headset is one of the most attention-grabbing in VR, particularly because it aims to merge affordability and functionality in a lightweight package that's fun to wear and use. The Korean giant unveiled its 2017 Gear VR with Controller on Sunday, a new package that strives to make virtual reality more intuitive and real simultaneously.
The 2017 Gear VR headset works with older Galaxy handsets such as the Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7, S7 edge, and, of course, the upcoming Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The 1000mAh AAA battery is said to last 40 days on average if you only use it for about 2 hours a day. Of course, hardcore VR gamers will find the battery to be short-lived, but that's to be expected.
The 2017 Gear VR headset comes with a wireless controller, which means that it need not be connected to the VR headset to function. The wireless controller can be purchased separately, which implies that it will work with earlier headsets (though Samsung has yet to confirm wireless controller compatibility with say, the Galaxy Note 5, for example). As for the Galaxy Note 8 that will arrive later this year, its compatibility with the Gear VR with Controller depends upon whether or not its screen size is 6.2 inches across or less (current rumors state that the Note 8 could see a screen as wide as 6.4 inches, which would mandate a wider VR headset for the Note series).
Samsung's new Gear VR wireless controller is designed with Google's Daydream View VR headset controller in mind, but offers some intuitiveness the Daydream View headset does not. For one thing, the new Gear VR wireless controller allows easy access to the volume buttons, while the Daydream View controller mandates you touch the right side for volume access. The trackpad of the new Gear VR controller is in the same location as that of the Daydream View wireless controller. We hope that the Gear VR wireless controller works sans Bluetooth as is the case with Google's Daydream View. Not needing to charge the controller makes the VR experience more convenient and hassle-free.
The 2017 Gear VR with wireless controller will cost €99.99 for the bundle, while the wireless controller alone will cost €39.99 and will arrive in Q2 2017.