Nintendo was seemingly ahead of the proverbial game when it released the Virtual Boy in 1995, an ill-conceived virtual reality gaming headset with a monochromatic red “true 3D” display that made users want to scoop their eyes out with a spoon. Right idea, wrong implementation.
Nearly 20 years on, others are perfecting the technology and learning from Nintendo’s many mistakes. Joining Facebook and Sony in the virtual reality fray is – according to reports – none other than Samsung.
That’s the story over on Engadget, with credit going to “sources close to Samsung”. The unnamed headset has been stamped “URGENT”, with a view to beating the Oculus Rift (a recent Facebook acquisition) and Sony’s Project Morpheus to market.
The Samsung virtual reality headset is also tipped to undercut both Facebook and Sony’s offerings with a “lower price tier”, though it remains to be seen what “lower price” means in VR hardware terms.
Ultimately we’re talking about a peripheral – probably of the wired variety – for Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets, with gaming being the primary focus.
A developmental version of the Samsung VR headset is said to function with both the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3, but the final commercial model will be even more demanding.
With the release scheduled for this year, we’re probably talking Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime or – higher up the ladder still – Galaxy Note 4.
Developer content will of course be crucial. No content, no point.
We’re sitting firmly on the fence with all this VR stuff for now. That way if it falls flat on its face we can be like: “Yeah, we knew it’d be cr*p,” but if it takes off we’ll be all like: “Told you it’d be awesome!” Or something.