Samsung is reportedly working on its own virtual reality headset, according to sources speaking with Engadget. Like Sony and Oculus before it, the Korean company is hoping to capitalize on the VR craze, which reached peak interest when Facebook scooped up Oculus earlier this year for $2 billion. Samsung’s unannounced device will reportedly be unveiled later this year, with an aim to beat Oculus and Sony to market.
According to Engadget, the product will be similar in execution to the Rift and Morpheus devices, with capabilities to connect to your smartphone and tablet. (Engadget surmises this will be done through wires to cut down on lag). Meanwhile, the device will reportedly sport an OLED screen “as good or better than in the second Rift dev kit,” which we saw (and loved) at CES earlier this year. Many of the device’s other details, such as how it tracks head movement, is unclear. Perhaps it’ll utilize a secondary device’s camera, such as on your phone or tablet.
Samsung’s emphasis is on beating the competition to market, just as it tried to do with its Gear lineup of smartwaches. The company will reportedly target a lower price tier, too, in the hopes of undercutting the competition. Once it’s out, it’ll be aimed squarely at Android gamers. Console games totally make sense and VR can definitely heighten the experience as we witnessed first-hand. But in mobile? We’re skeptical—and do people even care? Imagine someone using this on the train to play Minecraft, carrying around a tablet and virtual reality headset, not even aware of what’s happening around them.
Much of the device’s darkest secrets remain a mystery for now, though Samsung’s VR aspirations will apparently become reality sometime this year. Oculus and Sony have obviously struck a chord with Samsung, and the company seemingly doesn’t want to be left out of what might be the next big craze. I can already imagine the marketing campaigns: The Next Big Thing in VR Is Here, with a a video of a young kid hilariously using Samsung’s headset inside a dark room, some voice-over actor trying to convince us that VR can change Android gaming forever. Can it?