Back in March 2015 Samsung confirmed that it was developing a new version of its Gear VR smartphone-based virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) for use with its latest flagship handsets, the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. The company and its partner, Oculus VR, have been relatively quiet on the kit since its reveal at the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) event, but have today finally confirmed a release date for it along with when fans can lay down a pre-order.
The Gear VR Innovator Edition for S6 will start taking pre-orders tomorrow, 24th April 2015 from BestBuy.com and is expected to be available to buy online from the same site and Samsung.com/GearVR on 8th May. Those looking to pick the device up from a physical retailer can head to a Best Buy from 15th May. Stock at these stores will be limited at first but expand over the course of this summer. Note that these dates likely only apply to the US at this point in time.
“We’re excited to bring our amazing virtual reality offerings to even more people with the Gear VR Innovator Edition for S 6,” said Nick DiCarlo, vice president and general manager of immersive products and virtual reality at Samsung Electronics America. “The continued expansion and availability of the Gear VR platform is a strong signal to VR developers and content creators about the viability of this new opportunity. Along with our great partners Oculus and Best Buy, we’re pushing this mobile VR revolution forward and are grateful to work with the amazingly open and passionate VR community.”
Though this new Gear VR succeeds the original version, which supported the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone, it’s still dubbed as an ‘Innovator Edition’ intended for early adopters and developers. Oculus VR recently revealed that it would be going ‘full consumer’ with the next iteration of the device, which it suggested would be revealed in Samsung’s next product cycle update. Traditionally speaking, Samsung’s second annual update arrives in September.
VRFocus will continue to follow Gear VR closely, reporting back with any further updates on the device.