Virtual Reality is seeing new displays and the end of Gear VR
posted Saturday Mar 28, 2020 by Scott Ertz
While virtual reality has gained some traction over the past few years, it has still struggled to gain significant consumer adoption. There have been several attempts made to find a sweet spot, but thus far, nothing has quite gotten the job done. From phone-based headsets to flagship products, no device has quite captured the imagination of consumers.
The most popular of the phone-based devices has definitely been the Samsung Galaxy VR. Samsung partnered with Oculus to produce a platform that would give owners of Samsung Galaxy phones access to a large portion of the Oculus app and game catalog without the need to purchase an expensive headset. Samsung was so sure that the technology would take off that it included a free Galaxy VR headset with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ phones. However, the company gave up on the technology shortly after. In fact, the company conveniently forgot to include support for the Galaxy S10.
While the newer phones have not been supported, the existing phones have maintained support for their existing features. Unfortunately, that is coming to an end next month. As of April 1, much of the app and game catalog will no longer be available to Gear VR devices. If you have the apps installed before that date, you will still be able to use them but will receive no future updates. If the publishers change backend capabilities, the apps may fail to function.
On the other end of the spectrum, though, are the flagship devices. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have held the top spots in the industry for years, but new challengers have entered the arena in rent months. The Valve Index is the newest high-end entry on the Steam VR platform, but there is room for more competition. The newest headset on the Steam VR Scene is coming care of HP and Microsoft.
The new headset is currently being referred to as Next Gen HP VR Headset is likely to be known as the HP Reverb G2. The original device was met with indifference, but HP is wanting this model to be "the new standard in VR." The company has given very little information about the new HMD, but developed in partnership with Valve, who produces the Steam VR platform, and Microsoft, which makes Windows Mixed Reality, is likely to be a heavy hitter.
There is no indication as to a release date, though the listing on Steam says that it will be "coming soon."