The next Gear VR is going to launch for consumers alongside the new Galaxy Note 5, or at least that's what we can assume by parsing together information revealed by John Carmack.
Oculus' chief technology officer announced at the Game Developers Conference that Gear VR will get a full, consumer launch with Samsung’s next hardware cycle, with Samsung putting all its energy into marketing: "We've got a plan now. We've got a date. You can mark this in the calendars," Carmack said. "Oculus is going forward as hard as we can."
Samsung's Gear VR is a virtual reality headset developed by Samsung in conjunction with Facebook-owned Oculus VR. Carmack said Oculus wants to sell as many units as possible with the next Gear VR, but he refrained from discussing Samsung's product roadmap. He only hinted that Samsung has two big releases each year.
The current version of Gear VR, which is labelled as an "Innovator Edition" for developers, launched last autumn and uses the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as a screen and processor. The Note generally gets an update in the autumn, so the upcoming Note 5 might be timed to launch alongside the consumer version of Gear VR.
Samsung and Oculus have been slow to transition Gear VR (as well as the Oculus Rift) from hardware pieces designed for developers or enthusiasts to user-friendly products for the general public. It looks like both companies are finally planning to make the leap this year, with the Gear VR at least.
Although Gear VR isn't a full, consumer device at the moment, Carmack noted that Oculus has been delighted with the response so far, saying it's great that friends can pull out the device and "get the Oculus face" for the first time. That said, he admitted there is still a lack of virtual reality content available.
As for the Oculus PC VR headset, Carmack didn't discuss any consumer plans. He simply called upon developers getting apps and games ready for Gear VR's formal launch to also get their software ready for the full PC gaming experience.