At the Oculus Connect conference, Samsung announced that its consumer version of the Gear VR will in the US very soon for $99 and shortly after in the rest of the world. It requires a 2015 flagship Galaxy phone.
Virtual Reality on a phone
Samsung has been selling an “Innovator’s Edition” of Gear VR for developers for some time now. It is now ready to release a consumer version for the masses.
The Gear VR headset is 22 percent lighter than the old version, has a redesigned trackpad, and several design tweaks. To use it you need to insert a 2015 Samsung Galaxy phone such as the Galaxy S6 or Note 5. Once you put it on you enter a world of virtual reality games and experiences.
- “Samsung has been at the forefront of delivering mobile experiences and ‘Gear VR Innovator Edition’ launched last year was no exception,” said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics. - “We see virtual reality as the next computing platform, and we are thrilled to partner with Oculus on Gear VR to set the standard for mobile VR and bring this revolutionary product to consumers.”
Oculus has partnered with several companies to bring content to Gear VR and Oculus Rift that will be released next year. Facebook’s new 360-degree videos will be supported and Netflix also announced an app for Gear VR. To be clear, this is not actually VR content from Netflix but more like a virtual living room (a rustic cabin in the woods) with a virtual flat screen inside.
Twitch, the live game streaming service, is also bringing an app to Gear VR. Lastly, 20th Century Fox will offer more than 100 movies that you can rent through the Oculus Video app. Again, these are not actual VR movies but flat movies on a virtual cinema canvas.
A range of games will also be available for Gear VR, including Minecraft, Land’s End, Gunjack and Smash Hit. Through Oculus Arcade you can play classic games, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Spy Hunter and Pac-Man from Sega, Namco and Warner Bros Midway.
The Samsung Gear VR will be available in November, in time for Black Friday, for $99. Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe believes that mobile VR will reach millions and eventually billions of users.
Dimension / Weight: 201.9 x 116.4 x 92.6 mm / 310g