For people who are still on the fence about virtual reality, the cost of the hardware that’s required can be a major factor. However, now anyone with a compatible Samsung smartphone can pick up last year’s version of the Gear VR headset for a significantly reduced price.
The 2015 model of the Samsung Gear VR was highly praised by Digital Trends in a review posted last November, where it was described as the best VR hardware for mobile devices. The headset sold for $100 at the time, but right now it’s available for just $60 via Amazon, according to a report from Road to VR.
It’s true that the Samsung Gear VR headset isn’t as capable as competitors like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Crucially, it won’t hook up to your computer — instead, it’s compatible with a select range of Samsung smartphones.
The following Samsung phones can be used in conjunction with the 2015 Gear VR headset:
- Galaxy Note 5
- Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, and S6 Edge+
- Galaxy S7, and S7 Edge
It’s worth noting that the Note 5 and S6 Edge+ both require a software update from your cellphone carrier for full compatibility.
Gear VR users can download content from the Oculus Home storefront via their smartphone. The platform hosts everything from 3D movies and 360-degree virtual experiences, to premium VR games and virtual recreations of arcade classics, to multiple virtual theaters where users can view 2D content.
The 2016 edition of the Gear VR headset launched in August, so it’s likely that this price cut is intended to clear remaining inventory of its predecessor. For $60, the 2015 Gear VR is about the best deal on entry-level VR hardware that we’re likely to see from a major retailer — at least until the retail frenzy of Black Friday.