The Samsung Odyssey Ark is insane! It's a beast! It's ridiculously ginormous with a remarkable 55-inch curved screen that would dominate anyone's setup. This thing is huge if that didn't become abundantly clear already. Is it for the general consumer, though? Not likely.
As part of Gamescom 2022 held in Cologne, Germany, T3 was invited to test out the new Samsung Odyssey Ark that sports 4K performance, 165Hz refresh rate and one millisecond response time. It's an impressive bit of kit as you can imagine, perceptively longer when spun from horizontal to its flashy Cockpit Mode.
Designed for the hardest of the hardcore that lives and breathes PC games, the idea is that players can have up to four screens (three in Cockpit Mode) operating at one time. Say for a Twitch chat, YouTube community, or even the likes of Netflix. Whatever you want. It also comes with an exclusive solar-powered Ark dial controller, which seemed a bit convoluted for what it was while the arched design was equally not as pleasing to the eye.
I had the chance to watch/play around 30 minutes of gameplay across Tales of Arise and Fall Guys. Obviously not exactly the most technically challenging of titles, both were still clear as day with stunning resolution. I'd love to see what Apex Legends or swinging through the streets in Marvel's Spider-Man would look like.
For someone who does not simply have the room to fit a monitor of this size in their setup, the Odyssey Ark isn't aimed at me – not with a price tag of over $3,000, either. More so, the big omission that would make me think twice is the lack of a specific function to fill the screen in Cockpit Mode.
Naturally, to get the 55-inch screen you can always change the settings like any monitor but the lack of a specific function or dedicated partners to show off the tech seemed a shame. It was surprising Samsung didn't have Xbox titles like Halo Infinite or Forza Horizon 5 showcasing what this could look like with the two companies often working with one another. Surely the whole point of having a screen rotate to a different angle is so you can play it in that format. Unless you go out of your way to adjust the settings to display to vertical (and even then it's not an ideal solution), it felt like a missed opportunity.
Swinging the screen around doesn't get old. It's a gimmick but a cool gimmick at that. We'll have to wait and see whether that's enough alongside whether the absence of what I believe to be a big feature is a deal breaker for consumers. The display is up there with the best on the market, that's for sure. It's just how many will truly be able to experience it with a cost as high as it is.
The Samsung Odyssey Ark is priced at $3,499.99 / £2,599 and is expected to launch sometime later this year, with a September shipping date noted from Newegg. Samsung has yet to confirm an official date as of yet, however, pre-orders have now opened. Anyone that does will receive a $100 discount price.
Meanwhile, the tech giant also announced two further Odyssey gaming monitors that are set to make streaming games across Xbox Cloud, Amazon Luna, Google Stadia and more that little bit easier.