Virtual Reality

Partnering with Samsung, Nyko is making the first official Gear VR gamepad

Partnering with Samsung, Nyko ...
Nyko is launching an official gamepad for the Gear VR that clips into the headset's front for easy storage
Nyko is launching an official gamepad for the Gear VR that clips into the headset's front for easy storage
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Nyko is launching an official gamepad for the Gear VR that clips into the headset's front for easy storage
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Nyko is launching an official gamepad for the Gear VR that clips into the headset's front for easy storage
Back of the PlayPad VR
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Back of the PlayPad VR

While the latest Samsung Gear VR includes a Wii-like motion controller in the box, some of the platform's best games require a console-style gamepad. Today accessory maker Nyko announced a partnership with Samsung that's spawning the first official gamepad for the Gear VR.

Nyko's PlayPad VR has a console-style gamepad layout, and is fully compatible with all Samsung Gear VR phones/headsets. While we already have plenty of unofficial gamepad options for Samsung's mobile headset (like our favorite, the SteelSeries Stratus XL), the PlayPad has the unique trait of clipping onto the front of the Gear when you aren't using it. This looks like a smart and convenient feature: It essentially replaces the nonfunctional face plate that ships with the Gear VR, only you can play games with this one.

The button layout appears to go largely by the book, including dual sticks, D-Pad, action buttons and shoulder buttons. While the sticks themselves don't appear to be clickable, Nyko (as you can see below) added separate R3 and L3 buttons on the back of the controller.

Back of the PlayPad VR
Back of the PlayPad VR

There's a growing list of Gear VR titles that support Samsung's new motion controller, but a gamepad is required for classics like HeroBound and the excellent new stealth title Term1nal.

We haven't tried the PlayPad VR yet, but Nyko will be demoing the wireless gamepad at E3 2017, which starts on June 17. The controller will ring up for US$50 when it launches "later this year."

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