“The reason we created the [Gear VR] Innovator Edition was because you can’t have lots of content with no users or developers can’t make money, and you can’t have lots of users but no content because they’ll get frustrated,” explained Cohen.
“What we worked to was to build those markets side by side, and we got to the point in November to launch the Gear VR – it was always planned to have the S7 and S7 Edge fit into that because the goal is to make the VR experience as smooth as possible regardless of how you get into it.”
Gear VR works by using a Samsung Galaxy phone to power it, but it does not have a built in screen like the Oculus Rift. Instead, it features a touchpad that enables interactions with the docked phone, and was originally released in November 2015.
At launch, it was compatible with the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+. Samsung’s website still lists only these four phones as compatible, but the Gear VR will be compatible with the Galaxy S7 and larger S7 Edge.
Samsung is giving away a Gear VR headset that normally retails for around £100/$100 with every preorder of its new water-resistant flagships. This will expose many more to consumers to VR.
“Oculus has always said mobile VR is going to be the VR of scale,” said Cohen. “Because the Gear VR is bundled in with every S7 and S7 Edge pre-order, in terms of a volume driver this is going to be very very high.”
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