Samsung’s Gear VR might seem a bit gimmicky (who wants to strap a phone to their face for an experience beyond proof-of-concept or demonstration?) but you can’t help but admire Samsung’s enthusiasm and tenacity for virtual reality.
Announced at IFA in Berlin this past September and released in the US this month, Samsung got the Gear VR out door extremely quickly. Now the company’s focus is on making sure the content is there to support this new platform. Last week, we saw a brand new version of Temple Run made specifically for Gear VR Innovators. This week, the Gear VR news is a bit closer to home for Samsung.
The company this week announced Milk VR, which offers 360-degree videos for Gear VR. This app is not to be confused with the Milk Music service Samsung launched in the spring or Milk Video, which was announced a couple of months ago, but it seems Samsung is really determined to make the Milk branding work and is extending it to VR. Milk VR is intended to be a similar style of on-demand streaming video service that is consistently adding a variety of video for VR users.
“Video is like the Wild West in VR,” said CNet Nick DiCarlo, head of Samsung’s VR business, in an interview earlier this month. “There are so many ways to shoot immersive video. Milk VR can play a wide range of content.”
Gear VR is US-only right now, just like all of Samsung’s Milk services. What the marriage of these two brands means for the international availability of either remains to be seen. Samsung hasn’t talked about the expansion of its Milk line of apps and services beyond the USA, and though Samsung Canada initially told us the Gear VR would be on sale in Canada before the end of 2014, we haven’t heard anything official on that since September.