Mobile VR reached a new milestone this last month with over one million people using the Gear VR.
It looks like Oculus and Samsung have something to celebrate today, sharing an update on their progress with mobile VR adoption and highlighting some new VR content. During an event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Oculus revealed that over 1 million people have used Gear VR in the past month alone.
Considering the consumer version of the Gear VR only hit the market six months ago, this is a promising number, hopefully pushing developers to create even more content for the platform.
Max Cohen, Oculus’ head of mobile, told a roomful of journalists that getting developers to spend time making VR content for the Gear VR can be challenging, with many waiting for a larger user base. Now with a cool million users spending around 25 minutes a day according to Cohen, Tuesday’s announcement might just be the news developers were waiting for.
Although it’s not clear how Oculus is tabulating the new user milestone number, it’s likely based on total user accounts that sign into Oculus rather than individual headsets being used, which one headset can have multiple users accounts registered.
So what could be responsible for the acceleration in active user numbers? One big reason is that back in February, Samsung began bundling a Gear VR with pre-order purchases of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge phone. The promotion also included Oculus throwing in a content bundle featuring six made-for-VR games with an estimated $50 USD value for all US pre-orders as well. With the promotion redemption concluding in April and Samsung allocating 300,000 Gear VR headsets for distribution (that does not include retailer Gear VR bundling allocation either), a large amount of users just powered up their phone and snapped it into a Gear VR last month.
During the Tuesday briefing, Oculus also shared that they will be rolling out a revamped Oculus Home design next month, hopefully making it much easier to find content. If you are like us and have spent time frustrated trying to find what you just downloaded on Gear VR, this will be a welcome addition.
Oculus also highlighted several new VR experiences coming to Gear VR which include:
- Notes on Blindness: Into the Darkness (available late June) – an experience putting you in the shoes of someone slowly going blind.
- Tactera (available late May) – a real-time strategy game with holographic pieces.
- Deadliest Catch VR (available May 17th) – Discovery VR videos that take you on the rough seas as a crew member.
- 6×9 (available now) – a Guardian-produced film that lets you feel what it’s like to be in solitary confinement.
- Nomads (now available) – lets you explore what it’s like to be in different nomadic tribes such as the Maasai in Kenya, the yak herders in Mongolia and the sea gypsies in Borneo. Nomads was produced by Felix & Paul Studios.