It wasn’t long ago that we highly praised the Samsung Gear VR in our full review. In fact “highly praised” would be putting it lightly- to quote from that review, the proper terminology would be “stunned’. Only a few months have passed and Samsung has already announced huge improvements that help address some of the few (but hugely important) pitfalls of the Gear VR.
To remind you what an immersive, mind-blowing experience the Gear VR can be, watch our very own Chris Chavez dive head first into an alternate universe by way of Samsung’s new virtual reality technology:
There are some quotable gems in there, folks… Chris Chavez, ladies and gentlemen.
You can see in the photos that this new hardware looks identical to the existing Note 4 ready version, only the portion that houses the phone now fits the S6 and S6 edge. Adding this will drastically increase the pool of eligible buyers, but Samsung would optimally offer a one-size-fits-all option or (although it’d be much more expensive) build the screen and guts into the headset hardware itself.
I tested two experiences:
- Theatrical show with a sprinkle of scandalousness
- Flight simulation warfare game
They were equally amazing in their own way. The first allowed you to enjoy entertainment as you explored the world around you. It was like the difference between watching a movie at the theatre or going to an interactive experience (like SleepNoMore in NYC) where you become part of the movie itself. I’m really excited to see where this takes the entertainment industry as whole. Film makers who embrace this could create some truly stunning experiences. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung partner up with a major film maker or studio to help push out a big launch that is only available on the Gear VR.
The game was promising as well, bringing me back to the days of Starfox 64 but instead of playing on the TV, I became part of the action, tracking my opponents with real life head movements instead of merely button mashing. It’s a pretty amazing experience that, unfortunately, doesn’t translate over YouTube and needs to be experienced for yourself.
The graphics weren’t exactly mind blowing and aside from shooting down incoming enemies there wasn’t much to explore, but this is just a demo. And as a demo it served its true purpose: I’m convinced that gaming on the Samsung Gear VR could revolutionize gaming.