Samsung’s Gear VR has taken consumer VR to an adoption level that is fitting for the market as a whole. The truth of the matter is that, while HTC has only launched a Vive headset aimed at VR/gaming enthusiasts, Gear VR is aimed at the average consumer who wants something affordable and isn’t willing to spend $500+ to get a virtual reality experience. With the Gear VR priced at $99, few consumers turn down the price tag or Samsung’s promos that give away the Gear VR for free with the purchase of a new Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Samsung has tackled VR gaming, but there are few controllers out there that work well with Gear VR (even the Moga Power Pro, a recommended controller, hasn’t been successful in testing). Next on the horizon for Samsung’s headset is Gear VR Xbox controller support.
Microsoft’s Xbox team took to its own website to make the announcement just three days ago:
As part of our ongoing commitment to enable gamers to play anywhere, on the devices they want, we announced last month the expansion of the Xbox Wireless ecosystem across Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. Today, we’re excited to announce that the new Xbox Wireless Controller, will soon be compatible with controller-enabled games on Samsung Gear VR starting with Minecraft: Gear VR Edition. In addition, broader support across all Gear VR controller-enabled titles like Herobound, Spirit Champion, Omega Agent, and End Space will be available in the coming months.
Gear VR Xbox controller support allows Xbox users to use their Xbox controller for more than just the Xbox game console, but now even for Gear VR. The best part of it all is that Gear VR will now gain a controller that works for it, not just take a stab in the dark as to which game controllers out there would work for it. Samsung has a new controller in the works for Gear VR, though we’ve yet to see it be announced and/or materialize.
While Gear VR is incredible as it is, there are many games within the Oculus software that mandate the use of a game controller. It would be nice to have a controller that “just works” out of the box without problems. I’m interested in seeing what Samsung will bring to Gear VR, but the Microsoft Xbox wireless controller just may be the first game controller I’m not afraid to use regularly. Gear VR Xbox controller support is exactly what Samsung’s consumer virtual reality headset needs to succeed.