Back in September 2014 Samsung announced a partnership with virtual reality (VR) specialist Oculus VR in which the pair would work together to create a brand new mobile-based head-mounted display (HMD) known as Gear VR. The device works with Samsung’s latest smartphones, which act as both a display for and the processor behind VR experiences. In the year that’s followed the companies have released two Innovator’s Edition for the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S6 and S6 edge handsets. These were mainly aimed at enthusiasts and developers but, today, Samsung and Oculus VR are finally releasing the first full consumer version of the Gear VR.
The device is arriving in the US today for those that pre-ordered it from Best Buy, Amazon and Samsung itself. It costs $99 USD and is compatible with the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge plus, and Galaxy Note 5. As for other regions, listings have appeared for both Germany and the Netherlands, the latter of which suggests units might arrive on 21st November 2015. However, listings for the UK, France, Australia and many other major territories are yet to be revealed, though are expected soon.
Gear VR boasts head-tracking technology and an on-board touchpad which can be used to control some experiences. It also works with Bluetooth gamepads. Positional tracking, however, is yet to be implemented.
With Gear VR launched, VRFocus will be providing full coverage of the device going forward. Today we’ll have coverage of the likes of Bandit Six: Salvo from Climax Studios, Anshar Wars from OZWE, and Bazaar from Temple Gate Games, with plenty more spread out over the days and weeks to come. And you can expect even more videogame and experience reviews, developer interviews, in-depth features in the near future as Gear VR finds its feet in the consumer market. VR has a big year ahead and it starts right here.
VRFocus will continue to follow the Gear VR closely, reporting back with the latest updates on its progress.