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  1. #1

    Google or Samsung? Who Will Win the Mobile VR Wars?

    If you are at all aware of the mobile VR space than you know that Samsung is the leader by far. In fact it is estimated that the company has sold close to 2 million Gear VR headsets to date and with the Holiday Season wrapping up, this number may have already grown towards 2.5 million. Samsung has built an entire mobile VR ecosystem, teaming with Oculus, and obtaining exclusive content, making it nearly impossible for any other manufacturer to compete.

    That's until the last month or two as Google entered the fray. Google's Daydream VR platform promises to transform the mobile VR space by providing developers with an easy-to-use API which incorporates a motion-tracking controller. One of the main complaints I have heard about the Gear VR is that the controls often break one's immersion within an experience. After all how realistic is it to have to control your movement by placing your hand on the touchpad that's in the temple area of the headset?

    Google's DayDream VR headset allows for far more immersion via their controller and with their marketing reach they should be able to really bring on a boatload of developers. Both platforms are limited to specific phones. The Gear VR only works with Samsung-made smartphones, while the DayDream VR works with only a very limited number of handsets.

    As we head into 2017, more and more DayDream compatible smartphones will be made available, allowing for higher-quality mobile VR. At the same time Samsung is expected to announce a new Gear VR, that will likely work with their upcoming Galaxy S8 device. Considering that Samsung is by far and away the leader within the Android market, unless Google teams with Samsung, or somehow is able to push their own Pixel line of smartphones on consumers, Samsung will have the larger handset market. If, however, Samsung decides to team with Google and produces their own DayDream-compatible headset as well as smartphones, both companies will be able to push forward with an almost unstoppable Mobile VR plan.

    As 2017 comes to a close many developers believe that Apple may announce some sort of VR/AR device. If Samsung and Google are able to partner on DayDream VR then Apple will almost have to announce a product in 2017 rather than risk waiting until 2018. Mobile VR will get good enough over the next 8-10 months that Apple could risk losing some of their smartphone market share if they don't have a decent alternative to what appears to be an Android dominant VR product lineup.

    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2016
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    My vote goes to Samsung as long as they continue their partnership with Oculus. This is because you get both Google and Samsung/Oculus content on the Gear VR whereas you only get google content on other smartphones.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by GearVRDude View Post
    My vote goes to Samsung as long as they continue their partnership with Oculus. This is because you get both Google and Samsung/Oculus content on the Gear VR whereas you only get google content on other smartphones.
    I'm not sure about that. You have to keep buying very specific GearVR headsets for the various samsung models, and you are of course limited to samsung phones. They will be ahead for a while though. The Oculus store is just terribly confusing, as you think a game looks great for Rift and it turns out to be for GearVr or vice versa, but for sure, Oculus could keep funding exclusive games if they want.
    Comments posted in plain text are my own, comments posted as a moderator will be posted in blue.

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