Samsung Electronics America Inc. announced that the new Samsung Gear VR headset, powered by Oculus is available for preorder in the U.S. from Nov 10. Consumers can preorder the headset on Samsung.com, Amazon and Best Buy for $99.99. Delivery will begin on Nov 20.
T-Mobile will offer Samsung Gear VR from Nov 27 in stores and online at T-mobile.com. AT&T is soon to confirm the date.
The new consumer version of Samsung Gear VR is compatible with the latest Samsung Galaxy phones including Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5.
The headset is created in cooperation with Facebook‘s subsidiary Oculus VR. It is the first virtual reality headset produced for consumers. Users can enjoy immersive photos, videos and games when they plug their Samsung Galaxy smartphone into the Gear VR headset.
Commenting on the release, Nick DiCarlo, vice president, Immersive Products and Virtual Reality at Samsung Electronics America said, “Samsung is leveraging its leadership in mobile, by giving millions of Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners’ access to amazing virtual reality experiences including immersive games, the ability to explore beautiful photographs and exciting videos in 360 degrees, and much more.”
Oculus’s head of mobile Max Cohen also thought that the release marked an important moment for VR and the Gear VR is the “absolute best VR experience on mobile today” that will change the way users see the world.
Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus is available for preorder now
Although the Samsung Gear VR is 19 percent lighter (281.2 grams) than Samsung’s previous Gear Innovator, it still looks a bit chunky. It is, in fact, a plastic box with a phone plugged to it that users strap to their heads. Lenses inside the box magnify the smartphone’s screen, making the images to wrap around users’ field of vision. The phone and headset’s sensors can recognize head movements to adjust the images to change follows the movements.
Other improvements include a refined touchpad for easier navigation and greater control when using the device, and a new foam cushioning that make the headset comfortable to wear.
Samsung Gear VR’s users will have access to a number of Oculus’s made-for-VR games, some are ready for playing right away, others are coming soon. Some game titles users can play immediately when they receive the headset include Eve’s Gun Jack by Oculus, Land’s End by Ustwo Games, Bandit Six: Salvo by Climax Studio and Dead Secret by Robot Invader.
The Gear VR headset users also have access to other contents like the Jurassic World: Apatosaurus (a trip to dinosaurs’ world) by Oculus, Samsung Milk VR – a free immersive 360 videos library, Netflix, Hulu or Oculus Video.
The VR headset market is heating up with Google Cardboard – a simple VR box for Android Phone and iPhone (costs $20), now Samsung Gear VR headset, and soon the Vive headset from HTC and Valve released later this year and the in-progress Sony’s PlayStation VR. Consumers will have more and more choices for a virtual reality experience.