Back in January, we asked: has Samsung missed the VR bus? The firm that was once an early entrant into the VR headset space appeared to have left the field to the PSVR 2, Meta Quest Pro, VIVE XR Elite and Apple's imminent AR/VR headset.
It turns out that Samsung would very much like to be on that bus, and it's finally confirmed the existence of its rumoured mixed reality headset. At last week's Samsung Unpacked event, Samsung announced that it was working on a new XR wearable headset in collaboration with Google and Qualcomm.
What will Samsung's mixed reality headset do?
We don't know yet. Samsung has told the Washington Post that it's working in partnership with both Meta and Microsoft for the project, but there aren't any details of what the unique selling point will be – if indeed there is one. However the device is believed to be designed to rival Apple's yet to be released mixed reality headset, and it's unlikely to appear until Apple's one has been out for some time.
It seems that Samsung wants to do an Apple here, by waiting for other firms to learn things the hard way and then entering the market having learnt from those firms' mistakes. As Samsung told the Post, it feels that the platform and the software need to be "somewhat ready" in order to succeed. In other words, they don't want to launch too soon.
The device is clearly in the prototype stage: Netherlands tech site Galaxy Club spotted a Samsung battery with the product code I120, which ties in with the headset's reported model number SM-I120. As the battery is 45 x 45mm it's likely to be installed inside the headset itself, rather than in a separate battery pack as we're expecting from the Apple AR/VR headset.
It looks like this is going to be an interesting year for VR. Sony has reportedly reduced its sales expectations for PSVR 2 after disappointing pre-orders, believed to be because of its higher-than-a-PS5 price, and Apple's AR/VR headset is expected to have a price tag that makes PSVR 2 seem like a pocket money toy. And so far we've yet to see a real killer app for VR or mixed reality.
Could this be the year that the "could this be the year of VR" headlines finally come true? I'm not sure I'd want to bet on that one.