Ecosystem lock-in might finally pay off for Samsung with the Gear VR.
Samsung is about to give away an unprecedented number of Gear VR headsets to folks who jump on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge train early. It’s the first serious push the company has made with this hardware, after years of courting developers and offering small demo stations in Best Buy stores. For many this is going to be the first VR experience they’ve ever had, and that first impression is not likely to be a bad one. That experience is going to be shared with a whole lot of friends and family, who will shortly discover that the Gear VR is something you can only experience through Samsung’s latest and greatest.
The big question is what happens next, and whether that experience is enough to push someone on the fence to consider a Samsung phone in order to share this VR experience.
The whole ecosystem play happening here is significant, and the timing is important. Giving everyone a free Gear VR with the Galaxy S6 wouldn’t have been nearly as impactful as Samsung’s offering with the Galaxy S7. Announced alongside the Galaxy S7 was the 200 app milestone in the Oculus Store, which means there’s no shortage of things to do in this VR world now.
The content available now is exceptional, especially compared to what was available a year ago on this platform. Samsung and Oculus have worked hard to fill this playground, and the end result is a full entertainment system you can wear on your face. It’s a game console, a movie screen, and a budding social network all at the same time, and nearly all of it is exclusive to this platform.
The urge to play multiplayer games alone will be enough to encourage early adopters to