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.

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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.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Casey

    I’m guessing we don’t know this yet since this is breaking news, but I wonder if the new Gear VR has any improved specs, or if the only real change is the addition of a controller (which is good, of course, and removes the stress of the “Which controllers work for which games?” problem, but isn’t as exciting as a broader generational upgrade would be).

    • Firestorm185

      Yeah, agreed. they also mention motion tracking for the controller on there, but I’m still wondering what type of tracking they’re talking about. Haven’t found any articles with good info on whether it’s just motion tracked or actual position tracking.

      • Andre du Toit

        It will only be motion tracking and not positional. For that you need a stationary base station and either sensors or camera on phone for tracking. But it is a step in right direction.

        • ZenInsight

          Actually, you can track position with two cameras on the Galaxy S phones, but since there is only 1 camera for the S8, we probably have to wait until the S9, which will have a 4K screen as well. releases. The question is will there be yet another Gear VR for that phone or will this be the one for the next couple years.

          • Sponge Bob

            yeah, just wait
            gearVR is dead already just like daydream -same shitty useless device -with or without their joke controller

        • Firestorm185

          Ah, thanks for the tip! Yeah, that’s what I expected. More Wiimote styled VR controllers. XD

          • Doctor Bambi

            Actually, the Wiimote did have it’s positioned tracked via a sensor bar you placed on top of your TV. This will be more simplistic than that, but it does bring it to feature parity with Google Daydream which is good news.

          • Firestorm185

            Yeah, I realized that after I posted the comment. XD Definitely more simplistic than that.

  • HAS

    Needs built-in headphones!!!!!!

  • OgreTactics

    Yeah, no. Samsung just lost it’s smartphone and VR competitive advantage, and also this year is going to be incredibly bad for VR. I already have feedbacks from people at clients agencies or brands who watched the conference wondering “if Samsung is fucking kidding them”, and what’s the point of the Gear VR platform in 2017.

    The VR market is already stalling with PC-VR, now mobile-VR is going nowhere until later this year with maybe something from Apple.

    The fact that they didn’t fucking use their own patent to double the incentive of the Gear 360 has both a camera and GearVR controller/head-tracking camera, when I had students create a working led-IR camera tracking system in a few days…this is intolerable, who the fuck runs these companies to push them into making less turn-over?

    • PrymeFactor

      So you wanted them to include an additional camera they never planned for on their flagship smartphone, for a niche VR market?
      What Samsung has done will likely be far more profitable for them.

      Mobile VR isn’t stalling. And with more and more consumer 360 cameras becoming available, it’s probably going to sell briskly this year too.

      • OgreTactics

        A bunch of hypocritical oblivious bullshit. “Mobile VR isn’t” stalling, yes it is. “More consumer 360 cameras becoming available it’s going to sell briskly” because what, the hypocrisy of people like you or magic?

        • PrymeFactor

          You’ve just learnt the word ‘hypocrisy’, eh?
          I’m sure Samsung execs are utterly broken that you aren’t buying their new phone.

          • OgreTactics

            The “I’m sure their sad you’re not buying” argument, eh? Proves my point. You’re not interesting, next.

      • Osaka Dude

        OgreTactics…you’re sounding like a self-hating troll dude. I agree with Texazzpete and Sponge Bob…Quit blasting the industry’s progress and put your money where your mouth obviously is and start / create your own VR company / product. Never ceases to amaze me how angry people get on here because ‘other people’s hard work’ doesn’t please or placate them. It’s smart phone mobile VR…not full fledged VR. What do you expect? Samsung’s a multi Billion dollah company…what do you have to show dude? Next…

    • Sponge Bob

      what do you mean by “VR stalling”
      there are technical limitations, but things are moving
      gpus are getting faster and more efficient
      tracking is becoming available from quite a few companies
      e.g. you can buy NoloVR and put it on top of that GearVR and voila
      daydream like controllers are a joke I agree
      rotation only my a$$
      those dudes are clueless

      • OgreTactics

        By “VR is stalling” I mean market sciences. When you’re launch year, from the launch date to the holiday season barely reaches 300k, and then you have a full hollow year based on these, while on the GearVR side which was the main VR drive…there’s absolutely nothing…you do the math.

        I’m not sure the random arguments you are citing have contextual relevancy but I will say this though: 2017 is going to be a year of VR content. All the companies that waited or decided at the launch to invest in a content production/development will release their experience in 2017. Which on the surface seems like a good idea, but it’s also a bad one: if the actual products are shit, therefor the market is stalling, therefor the invested content not selling or growing but in fact competing on a small user market…it’s the beginning of frown-eyed investors.

        Rotation only my a$$ indeed, the fact that a small start-up like NoloVR crafted an affordable of the shelve solution and a big fucking corporation with the turn-over and strategical market responsibility of making their smartphone – VR paradigm successful were so fucking money-scrappy hungry for miserable cost savings and decided not even to use their own patents, you know this one (https://uploadvr.com/samsung-korean-patent-shows-new-gear-vr-positional-face-eye-tracking/) which actually portrays that crap and now useless Gear 360…

  • Sky Castle

    Now if they can just solve the over heating issues so I can use my GearVR for more than 15 minutes at a time.

    • WyrdestGeek

      I strap a cold pack to the back of my phone with rubber bands. Seriously. It’s pathetic, but effective.

  • A mailer I got from Best Buy says you can get the headset and controller for free if you pre-order the Galaxy S8 and S8+

    • WyrdestGeek

      I wonder if they’ll throw in a fire extinguisher. Just in case.

  • There have been like 4 GearVR editions, but they seem all almost identical to me. Remote is the first real innovation.