On stage today at Samsung’s Unpacked Event in New York, the new Gear VR with motion controller finally got a launch date and price. The new 2017 Gear VR and Controller combo, announced alongside the Galaxy S8, will be available starting April 21st for $129. The motion controller, which can be purchased separately for people that already own an older Gear VR headset, will set you back $39.
Pre-orders for the new Gear VR and Controller combo, as well as separate Controllers, will be available on the Samsung website.
The 2017 Gear VR is confirmed to be compatible with the Galaxy S8, S8+, S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6 edge+, S6, S6 edge. Like the 2016 model, it uses both USB Type-C & micro USB connector types. Like its predecessor, the headset has a head-mounted touchpad and fixed interpupillary distance (IPD).
The single-handed controller, much like the Daydream VR controller, will provide motion tracking. Engagdet’s Devindra Hardawar got a hands-on with the controller, saying “the motion tracking felt fairly accurate, but mostly I was struck by how it felt in my hand. It has a slightly angle orientation, and your fingers naturally fall on the large trackpad on top and the trigger button on the back. That trigger, by the way, differentiates it from the Daydream View remote, which only has a trackpad and a few buttons. It makes the controller more in line with the Oculus Touch and Vive gamepads, and it’s a big help for most VR shooting titles.”
Like Daydream VR, the Gear VR Controller is tracked via on-board IMU (gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetic sensor), meaning there will be motion tracking, but not a perfect 1:1 positional tracking like you’d get with a Vive or Oculus Touch.
The Controller features a number of buttons including a home key, back key, a trigger, volume rocker, and touchpad. The device takes two AAA batteries with a minimum battery life of 80 hours, or 40 days with 2 hour per day usage.
Oculus, the principle partner of the Gear VR mobile platform, will also be rolling out their “biggest mobile platform update yet,” saying they’ve rebuilt Oculus Home from the ground up. The company says that this has reduced load times by up to 3x. Oculus is promising 70 new titles with controller support “coming soon” with nearly 20 titles to choose from in April, and 50 more to follow over the next few months.
Oculus say zombie shooter Drop Dead, puzzle game Rangi and SingSpace will be receiving support for Controller, including Oculus Rooms.
This story is breaking. We’ll be updating with new information as it comes out.