In May of last year, leaked renders revealed that Samsung was possibly working on a dedicated controller for the Gear VR headset.
A new report now claims that the next model of the Gear VR will come with the controller and that it will be unveiled as soon as next month.
New Samsung Gear VR To Come With Controller
According to a report by SamMobile, Samsung is preparing to announce the next Gear VR headset next month. The new model of the virtual reality headset is designed to work with the company's upcoming flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.
The new Gear VR will look very similar to the current model, as it will only have minor changes to its designs and features. Adding to the information known about the new Gear VR is WinFuture.de contributor Roland Quandt, who tweeted that the new Gear VR will get a model number of SM-R324, compared to the SM-R323 model number of the current Gear VR.
The new Gear VR will receive a different front cover to allow it to accommodate the Galaxy S8, Quandt added, along with a single-hand controller.
Gear VR Controller Passed Through FCC
After the SamMobile report, Samsung's dedicated controller for the Gear VR was reported to have passed through the Federal Communications Commission, confirming the presence of the controller and signifying that the device will be launched very soon.
The controller will establish a connection to the new Gear VR through Bluetooth, and it will be utilized by users to navigate content and play games. There are no pictures that have been revealed for the Gear VR controller, though, and no diagrams either that show its design, with the documents filed to the FCC only containing the labels that will be placed inside the battery compartment and the device's model number of ET-YO234.
Why Is There A Need For A Gear VR Controller?
The current Gear VR comes with a trackpad located at the side that allows users to navigate and control the system. The virtual reality headset, however, is capable of supporting certain controllers over Bluetooth, such as Microsoft's controller for the Xbox One.
With the next Gear VR to be sold with a controller, it will be easier to sell the device to consumers who are looking to pick up the virtual reality headset primarily to play games. The addition of a dedicated controller will allow the Gear VR to keep in step with Google's Daydream View headset, which also comes with its own controller.
The Daydream View headset of Google is currently only compatible with a short list of devices, but if Samsung wants to maintain its leadership in the VR headset market, it makes sense for the company to release a Gear VR controller so that it could erase an advantage of a rival device.
The Samsung Gear VR headset sold 4.5 million units last year, out of the total 6.3 million VR headsets that were purchased in 2016. It will be hard pressed to maintain that lead this year, though, as companies such as Oculus and HTC are looking to grab a bigger share of the market.