Los Angeles – Samsung and Oculus announced they have joined together to bring the Gear VR, a $99 virtual reality headset that will go on sale later this fall.

According to Samsung, compared to the previous version, this Gear VR is now compatible with the Note 5, S6, S6 Edge, and S6 Edge Plus. It is also 22% lighter and much more comfortable to use for longer periods of time. Oculus is also bringing a new arcade experience to its product which allows customers to play classic arcade games in a more immersive environment.

According to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, virtual reality (VR) will become a dominant communications and entertainment technology. Credit: pisapapeles.net

And, what about content? While as far virtual reality content is concerned, Samsung announced that it has teamed up Twentieth Century Fox and Lions Gate Entertainment to bring content to its Gear VR, including blockbusters such as Alien Trilogy, Pulp Fiction along with the Hunger Games series.

Talking about games, Oculus has announced a partnership to bring Minecraft to the platform while other new additions on the Gear VR include the Netflix app, with apps for Vimeo, Hulu and Twitch expected to arrive soon.

Facebook New Investments

By its part, Facebook has “dramatically” boosted its investment in virtual reality since it acquired Oculus for $2 billion 18 months ago.

“We are investing more year over year. . . We’ve got a multiyear plan for this worked out over a fairly long time horizon.” said Mike Schroepfer, chief technology officer at Facebook to the Financial Times in an interview at the Oculus Connect developer conference in Los Angeles.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, told 1,500 attendees at the event he believed VR would become a dominant communications and entertainment technology while cautioning that early sales of the Rift may increase “slowly” when it goes on sale in the first quarter of next year.

Oculus Touch

At the Oculus Conference this weekend, the company also presented Oculus Touch, a system designed to give users tactile feedback in VR environments. Gizmodo made a review on the product and from the looks of it, they were left extremely satisfied. But on the downside, it will not be part of the Oculus Rift package which will ship in early 2016. It was also announced that 505 Games’ space exploration adventure Adrift will launch alongside the Oculus Rift in Q1 of next year.

Oculus head of product Nat Mitchell and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg also explained the release strategy for the device and warned that uptake could be slow.

“At the end of the day, I think that if you look at many of the most successful consumer hardware products of all time, most of them sold in the very low millions of units in their first year, especially new product categories, things like Kindle and iPod,” Mitchell told Gamasutra.

Source: Financial Times