The one-handed controller device is expected to ship with a second iteration of the GearVR headset readying for an announcement sometime late next month, likely during the unveiling of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 smartphone at MWC 2017. We expect it should also be shipping separately for use with existing GearVR headsets as well. For now, the best information so far comes from WinFuture.de’s Roland Quant, who says the new controller will ship with a new Samsung Galaxy S8-compatible headset codenamed SM-R324.
While the FCC listing does not show any images of the Bluetooth-enabled device, it does mention the labels that will be placed on the battery compartment and clearly shows the model name ET-YO234. At this point, it is difficult to gain an understanding of what the controller will look like, though it will likely end up being similar to the one included with Google’s Daydream VR headset or any rectangular AV stereo remote with contoured edges and a smooth surface.
Last year, a leaked render of the alleged device appeared, showing a very flat rectangular design reminiscent of a graham cracker with a total of six interface buttons. While this leak was clearly a two-handed design not matching the FCC’s single-handed description, it did bring some useful interface elements with it, such as a center-positioned LED that glows blue when the device is on and flashes red when low on battery. Other elements mentioned included two shoulder buttons, a Bluetooth sync button, an analog stick in resin black and four action buttons.
The big hope is whether Samsung will be able to sell enough of these controllers to mobile VR users that they don’t end up overestimating demand as they did three years ago with the Smartphone GamePad controller for Android 4.1 and higher devices.