Samsung Gear VR headset could be coming as soon as September
So, the rumours seem to be true. Here's photographic evidence of VR headset made by Samsung, apparently named "Gear VR". Sources claim the headset will likely be announced alongside the next version of the Galaxy Note at the upcoming IFA 2014 conference.
It's tempting to look at Gear VR as a typical Samsung attempt to imitate a product that's getting a lot of praise (in this case Oculus Rift) – but reportedly there are some marked differences between the devices. The Gear VR isn't meant to be standalone but will instead complement other Samsung products (much like the existing Gear smartbands and smartwatches). The modular design will allow other Galaxy device to be connected via a USB 3.0 connection and it is unlikely to work with other competing brands or at least, not without workarounds.
Another Galaxy accessory, it seems
What else can we expect from the Gear VR? The device will rely on a Galaxy phone's accelerometer, gyroscope and processing power to track head motion; it does not in itself have the capacity to simulate VR (with no onboard sensors of its own). It does have a rear-facing camera sensor to allow users to see what's outside the headset without needing to remove it, as well as a touchpad to control the headset's user interface via the Galaxy smartphone OS.
As we heard previously, Oculus VR will be helping out with the software, but the hardware is all Samsung's. Expect a new batch of VR-centric Samsung apps, while developers can also look forward to an SDK being released soon after the Gear VR is announced.
If you're not a Samsung user, perhaps you might console yourself by making a Google Cardboard VR for cheap. Warning: we tried it and it's not quite as easy as it looks.
Or you could just save up for an Oculus as the makers told us it will be sold for pretty much cost price.
Is it any good? Read our Oculus Rift v2 hands-on to find out.