Samsung is taking some thinking time before creating next-gen VR headsets

Gear VR
Gear VR

Samsung has revealed that its interest in developing higher-end virtual reality products will largely depend on the direction the market takes over the next few months and years.

At the moment, Samsung is no stranger to the VR market with its smartphone-equipped Gear VR headset giving consumers a more affordable, though less advanced, way to access the platform than the offerings from Oculus and HTC.

Speaking at a company event in San Francisco, Samsung President & Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn revealed that whilst the company is looking into its own high-end standalone solutions it won't make any more detailed product plans until it gets a better sense of whether virtual reality is "hype or mainstream".

Will the bubble burst?

According to TechCrunch, Sohn stated that the VR market is at the peak of its hype cycle and is yet to completely prove itself, creating "a bit of a chicken and egg problem."

If the company does decide to pursue a headset that wouldn't require any kind of secondary computer device, it's likely to be at the head of a more advanced next-generation of headsets. Before Samsung would begin working on its next headsets, Sohn said improvements would need to be made in the areas of battery life, latency, and displays.

Displays in particular would need pixel densities "at least two times" that of those currently offered by the company's Galaxy and Note smartphones. Though these displays are excellent in terms of smartphone standards, they are limited when used for virtual reality purposes due to the required close proximity to the user's eyes.

Creating the advanced 10K displays that would be required for these standalone headsets wouldn't be cheap, though - Sohn estimates that it would take an investment of around "$5 billion to $10 billion". With these costs in mind, it's certainly worth taking pause to consider when the market would be ready for such a product evolution.

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.