Is Samsung’s Gear VR dead? Probably, but mobile VR isn’t yet

A Samsung Gear VR, possibly dead.

This week Samsung announced the newest (and perhaps the last) of its Note devices – and it follows the usual formula of flagship upgrades: bigger, better, faster. You know the drill.

One thing that stood out to a number of mainstream tech commentators, however, is the confirmation that the Note 10 won’t work with the Gear VR – Samsung’s standalone VR headset system, launched nearly five years ago.

While it’s not all that surprising, Samsung has been very quiet about the Gear VR for quite some time, it’s a nail in the coffin of mobile VR more broadly.

With the VR ecosystem now dominated by the popularity of more capable standalone headsets like the Oculus GO and Oculus Quest – and retail prices generally trending downwards from the early days of dedicated VR headsets, like the Rift or Vive – the reasons to even consider taking the mobile VR route diminished further.

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Where this death knell for mobile VR is perhaps premature is in more price-sensitive markets – for example, in India alone there are nearly 340 million adult smartphone users. Whatever percentage of those users may be interested in VR, it’s not a huge leap of imagination to think the first interaction with it might still be through a low-cost smartphone VR viewer, rather than through an Oculus GO, which currently costs the equivalent of just over $400 from Amazon India, whereas it costs just $249 in the US.

This cycle of people’s first VR experiences taking place on a mobile headset, before they then buy a more capable device (or lose interest entirely) will likely remain true in more mature markets too, at least for the foreseeable future.

Whether that first experience is delving into a virtual world, playing games, or exploring the masses of VR porn available today, ironically, most people would probably enjoy it more if it was taking place on a dedicated standalone headset.

Read Next: Oculus GO Review: The Most Convenient Way to Watch VR Porn

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Ben Woods is a passionate journalist, editor, and media adviser who not only brought SEXTECHGUIDE to life but keeps it running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. Before embarking on this exciting journey, Ben's work reached millions of people through reputable publications such as WIRED, TrustedReviews, The Inquirer, V3, CNET, ZDNet, and The Next Web, among many more. Ben dives deep into the realms of tech, sex, and the future on SEXTECHGUIDE, inviting readers to explore the intriguing intersection of these domains.

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