As Virtual Reality looks like it will be the frontrunner in mobile gaming in the future, many mobile manufacturers are now looking at revolutionizing the technology to further provide users with a seamless experience while using a wearable. Samsung has been reportedly developing a standalone, untethered Gear VR headset that doesn’t need a mobile device to work. Based on a report by Variety on the futuristic wearable, the Korean tech giant is now in the process of developing this revolutionary gadget that comes with its own hand gesture recognition tracker.
At the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, an official stated that it might take the company a few more years before they release this headset.
“We are working on wireless and dedicated VR devices, not necessarily working with our mobile phone,” said Injong Rhee, Samsung’s head of R&D for software and services.
Rhee added, “VR is amazing, but the industry is still in its infancy.”
Although they are competing with more high-end VR headsets on the market (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive), the company’s Gear VR is recording great sales numbers. In fact, back in November 2015, it was reported that the headset was ‘sold out’. Amazon and Best Buy both claimed that the Gear VR was ‘temporarily out of stock’ and ‘sold out online’ respectively.
Samsung’s current handset is being bundled in with their latest flagship. It continues to be dependent on the Galaxy S7 for gaming content. Other VR headsets on the market have also shown that they still need mobile devices to acquire games and videos to be viewed virtually.
With its capability to connect to the Internet (Wi-Fi, 4G), smartphones continue to be one of the most sought-after devices when consumers what to use them for gaming. In fact, its market’s revenue has even surpassed dedicated console devices, reports John Gaudiosi in his article on Fortune
No wonder, many big game developers have started expanding their reach to this lucrative market. Even online-based developers such as Gaming Realms said in an Edison Investment Research report that they are looking at expanding their popular titles to draw in more mobile gamers, as approximately 70% of their players are now accessing their games through mobile devices.
The company stated such figures were driven by the proliferation of faster Internet connections through smartphones and tablets that allow consumers to seamlessly play while on-the-go. With 1.73 million active players using their platforms, they are looking at tapping into the growing 12million adult social gaming market in the UK by expanding their many traditional casino titles on Pocket Fruity as well as their list of commercially-licensed games, such as The Dark Knight Rises and Game of Thrones to social and mobile platforms.
However, if mobile manufacturers plan to produce more standalone VR headsets for gaming, it might be necessary for game developers to also consider using the new gaming technology to further reach more future gamers, looking to experience ‘realistic’ video game playing through the virtual world.
Although it hasn’t been released yet, Samsung is already competing against Google in producing a standalone VR headset, as the search giant already announced earlier this year they are currently working on the technology.
A source close to the company claimed that Google is now working with startup Movidius Inc. to use their camera chips for the motion sensor on the upcoming device. Although similar to Samsung, the release date hasn’t been announced.
Currently, the Korean tech giant is focused on selected countries such as China, India, and the UK where the sales of their Galaxy S7 variants were outstanding. Thus, they might look at releasing their first VR headset in these particular markets to ensure successful sales.