If you’ve ever used a Samsung Gear VR before, you’ve probably found yourself awkwardly tapping the side of the headset to issue a command, or fumbling with its four-way touchpad to make a selection in a menu. This inelegant, embedded touch control is a necessary evil — a compromise that allows the headset to be a self-contained VR experience free of the complicated peripherals and setup required of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. I struggled with its faults at Oculus’s GDC demo day, as I uncomfortably tapped my way through a battle in Augmented Empire.
Holding my arm to the side of the headset, constantly rapping the side of it to direct characters and attack enemies, I thought that there had to be a better way to control a tactical RPG in virtual reality. Then somebody told me that Samsung hand announced a new Gear VR earlier that morning. One with a motion controller. That sounds so much better.