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New Samsung Gear VR may include handheld controller

by Brandon Russell | February 20, 2017February 20, 2017 11:45 am PDT

Samsung is reportedly gearing up to release a new version of its Gear VR headset, with one key difference: The next iteration will come with a dedicated handheld controller.

Since the Gear VR was introduced in 2014, users have had to control the device using a built-in trackpad. While using a trackpad frees up a user’s hands, it’s not the most elegant of ways to control what’s happening onscreen.

As devices such as Google’s Daydream VR have proven, introducing a controller component complements the experience with motion tracking, adding in new gameplay elements that you otherwise don’t get with a built-in trackpad.

The new headset will reportedly support Samsung’s Galaxy S8, which is expected to arrive this Spring. It’s unclear if the controller will support older Gear VR headsets or if users will be forced to upgrade to the latest model. As of now, Gear VR users are required to purchase a separate Bluetooth controller to play more complex games.

While a “single hand controller” might not be as good as, say, an Xbox One controller, it could make the experience more accessible to new users.

The new Gear VR will feature minor changes

Aside from the addition to a dedicated controller, SamMobile claims the new Gear VR will feature minor changes and a slight redesign. We’re expecting Samsung to unveil the Galaxy S8 in March, followed by a release the following month. If true, it won’t be long until we see what VR plans the company has.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...