3DRudder Not Actually Compatible With Gear VR After All

On June 14 we reported that 3DRudder had announced that it now supports mobile VR devices. At the time, 3DRudder said its peripheral would work with the Gear VR or “any other Android-based mobile VR” system. Unfortunately, it turns out that the consumer version of the Gear VR doesn’t actually work with it.

3DRudder issued an apology early this morning after the company discovered over the weekend that the consumer version of the VR HMD’s USB port doesn’t actually pass data. The company had done all of its initial testing and development using a Gear VR Innovator Edition with a Samsung Galaxy S6 phone. The Innovator Edition headset supports data pass-through on the USB port but Samsung removed that function for the retail hardware.

If you’ve already ordered a wired 3DRudder and were planning to develop a mobile app that makes use of it, don’t fret. You can still do that, provided you own a Gear VR Innovator Edition. The current iteration of the 3DRudder foot controller is still compatible with the Innovator Edition headset, and 3DRudder has no plans to remove the functionality. In fact, the company is developing a wireless version of the 3DRudder controller, which will be fully compatible with mobile devices. However, 3DRudder has not indicated when we can expect the wireless version.

If you’re not sure which Gear VR HMD you have, there are a few simple ways to tell. If you bought it with an S7, it's guaranteed to be a consumer edition, but if you were an early adopter that picked one up prior to November last year, you probably have an Innovator Edition. The older version has a slightly different touchpad that doesn’t have the "+" symbol on it, and it includes an internal fan for cooling.

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 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.