Samsung’s new Gear VR headset and controller will be available for purchase beginning April 21 and will retail for $129.
We’re using the term new loosely here. The Gear VR is not new, it’s just a slightly modified version of the headset Samsung announced last year. It just comes in a new color—orchid grey—and it comes bundled the brand new controller. And even the new controller was announced last month at Mobile World Congress.
The controller will also work with last-generation Gear VR and can be purchased for $39 separately.
One of the weakest points of the Gear VR, which debuted in 2015, was that it lacked a controller unlike more advanced VR systems like Oculus, HTC Vive or even the more recent Google Daydream. The Gear VR did feature buttons on the right side to interact with the virtual world, but this was neither practical nor intuitive. The controller features volume rockers, a home and back button and a touchpad to navigate. It will also have an accelerometer and gyrometer. It will be powered by two AAA batteries.
Samsung’s Gear VR is powered by Oculus, and works with a wide array of smartphones. As of right now, it works with the new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, along with the S7, S7 Edge, Note 7, S6 Edge+, and S6 Edge.
Oculus also announced that 70 new Gear VR titles will feature support for the controller. Only 20 of those titles will be available in April when the Gear VR with controller launches and the rest will arrive later in the year. Additionally, Oculus is also releasing a brand new version of Oculus Home that will work with the Gear VR. Oculus Avatars and Oculus Browser will also be available for the Gear VR starting today.