If you think that the French Bebop drone with its navigation headset and Facebook’s Oculus Rift acquisition were something, think twice – Samsung’s prepared to enter the virtual reality competition this year as well. No, Samsung’s not buying a company or creating a drone; instead, the Korean manufacturer looks to emerge with a virtual reality handset of its own that takes on Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Sony’s Morpheus.
Currently, the company has already created a prototype device and has it in early testing stages with some developers. The early testing unit of Samsung’s virtual reality handset concept has an OLED screen and will likely have a wired rather than wireless connection to Samsung’s current smartphones and tablets (most likely the company’s high-end mobile gadgets, such as the Note 3 and Galaxy S5, for example). Samsung is committed to the interconnectedness and the collective work of its products to create the overall user experience – so it’s likely that the company’s virtual reality handset will be paired with a mobile device. You need not worry about whether or not Samsung will use Tizen with the handset: the company seems geared towards Android in this instance. Samsung’s GamePad released last year was concerned with gaming on its Galaxy smartphones – which, up to now, have all run on Google’s Android OS.
The virtual reality handset will also be used for Android gaming, but we’ve got no details right now on just what games would qualify as handset-compatible. What we do know, surprisingly, is that Samsung looks to price its virtual reality handset competitively in order to win customers. The company has taken a somewhat premium pricing scheme with its Gear smartwatches and its Gear Fit fitness band, Sony’s Morpheus project looks to be priced around $500 – and Samsung may price its virtual reality handset anywhere from $250-$400 in order to make inroads in the mobile virtual reality platform.
As for when you can expect Samsung’s virtual reality handset, we’re thinking that the end of the year could be the ideal time. The virtual reality handset in development currently is distinct from Gear Glass. While we know that Gear Glass, as a wearable, will likely bring fireworks along with the Note 4 to Samsung’s September party, we don’t know when the new Oculus Rift and Morpheus competitor will emerge. The most we can say for now is that Samsung’s virtual reality handset will arrive in our reality sometime soon.