Samsung is currently creating a virtual reality headset that will allow users to dive into their games and allow it to take on Sony’s Project Morpheus peripheral for the PS4, according to one report.
News about what’s effectively a clone of the Project Morpheus VR headset that Sony revealed at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the Oculus Rift headset that Facebook recent purchased, surfaced in a report from Engadget today.
According to the outlet, Samsung is rushing the device to market to compete against other entrants in the space. Users will put on the headset and connect it to their Samsung devices so that they can actually feel like they are in their games. Allegedly, putting on the headset will allow users to clearly see what’s supposed to be around them on an OLED display that’s “as good or better than” what’s available in Facebook’s Oculus Rift. Samsung doesn’t make a home console so it isn’t building the device around the living room. Instead, users will connect it to their tablet or television through a cable.
The report doesn’t indicate whether the headset itself will allow for head tracking so that buyers actually get a full immersive experience. Sony’s Project Morpheus uses the PlayStation Camera and a lightball to track user’s head movements. This way the PS4 processing the information knows what to display on the screen. The Oculus Right features head tracking as well. Including this technology is key because not having it would ruin any true immersion. In fact, without the technology Samsung’s headset would effectively be a giant OLED screen that users could wear on their heads instead of a true virtual reality headset.
Reportedly, Samsung’s vr headset will be priced aggressively lower to stave off competition from Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus. How low remains unclear since Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift aren’t priced for the consumer market yet. It’s Engadget’s belief that Samsung is rushing the device to the market so that it can also beat competitors to store shelves in addition to costing a bit less. That does fit Samsung’s style. The company typically tries to identify technology trends as early as it possibly can and then releases an early device that it can quickly iterate on to build a foothold. Unfortunately, neither tactic has helped Samsung spark interest in its Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatches. Today, the company is still as vulnerable as it’s ever been to a possible iWatch.
Like the VR headsets of others, this report makes it clear that Samsung’s VR headset won’t be aimed at changing the way users interact with their software. Instead, this device will focus on enabling gaming experiences. As such, Samsung Galaxy S5 users who aren’t interested in gaming shouldn’t get too excited for the upcoming peripheral. It doesn’t appear as if Samsung has a hard launch date for its VR headset, at the very least it’s not included in today’s report.
Sony hasn’t shared much about its plans for Project Morpheus since it first showed off the device in January. The device is also gaming focused and third-party developers will be able to make games that rely on it or at least provide support for it. That being said, there’s not even a ballpark figure for how much Project Morpheus will cost users when it eventually goes on sale. The version that Sony showed off at CES 2014 looked like an early concept and Sony seemed unsure about the entire device. Since its reveal Sony has made it clear that what it showed off was a prototype that it’s still working on and retooling. As such, Project Morpheus could arrive after this Samsung device does or before. Really, it’s all in the air.
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