During September’s Oculus Connect 2 keynote, Samsung’s Peter Koo announced the consumer edition of its Gear VR headset. The device is a collaboration between Samsung and Oculus, and Koo made the object of this partnership clearer than ever, stating that the new version of the Gear VR aims to “take virtual reality mainstream.” To that end, the device will launch at the potentially market-disrupting price of $100.
Updated on 11-10-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news the consumer edition of the Gear VR can be pre-ordered at Best Buy.
Where can you buy it?
On November 10, the consumer edition of the Gear VR went up for pre-order at Best Buy, where it’s sold for $100, with an anticipated delivery date of November 20. The headset comes with a 16GB MicroSD card pre-loaded with a selection of 360-degree movies, and 3D movie trailers. The Gear VR also streams from Vimeo and Netflix, plus can play content from Samsung’s own Milk VR service.
At the time of writing, the Gear VR isn’t sold anywhere else — but should be soon — and an international release date hasn’t been provided, but we’ll keep you updated right here.
The headset will be compatible with all of Samsung’s flagship smartphones — a group that includes the Note 5, S6, S6 Edge, and the S6 Edge Plus. The intent here is obviously to give as broad an audience as possible an affordable gateway into the burgeoning world of virtual reality.
Other improvements upon the first iteration of the Gear VR include a 22% reduction in weight, achieved as part of a larger effort to make the headset more comfortable. Ergonomic appeal looks set to be one of the biggest challenges that VR as a whole faces on its journey towards mainstream adoption, and so it’s smart for resources to be concentrated on this aspect of the device.
For Oculus to succeed in making virtual reality more than a novelty, the masses will need to be introduced to the tech without the hefty price point associated with the Rift. As such, an entry level device such as this could prove to be a very powerful tool in convincing people that this is more than just a fad.
The first batch of content set to be launched for the Gear VR was also detailed. Oculus Arcade will allow users to experience classic games in a virtual arcade setting. Meanwhile, Oculus Video will offer virtual implementations of Netflix and Twitch, as well as partnerships with companies like Facebook and studios like 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate.
Article originally published on 09-24-2015