Samsung's virtual reality-producing pair of Galaxy Note 4-powered goggles have gone on sale in the US on the manufacturer's website. Gear VR Innovator Edition, as the experimental product is actually called, is available for $199.99.
Gear VR works similarly to Google Cardboard, with a phone providing the processing power and display needed for the experience. But instead of cheaply assembled paper holding up the handset, Samsung and Oculus have worked together to create something that looks as though it should serve a function on its own. It doesn't. This $199 accessory requires a Galaxy Note 4 to be of any use, and only a Galaxy Note 4. Any other phones, including Galaxy ones, aren't compatible (though a variant tailored to the Galaxy S5's successor is expected next year).
The Gear VR is offered on Samsung.com and ATT.com. It's priced the same at both sites, comes in white, and obviously does not contain a Galaxy Note 4. You're going to have to buy that separately. Developers who pick one up are also able to download the Oculus Mobile SDK.
Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition Now Available in United States
Samsung’s First Virtual Reality Product powered by Oculus Set to Inspire and Entertain
December 8, 2014 – DALLAS – Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (Samsung) announced today that the Samsung Gear™ VR Innovator Edition powered by Oculus is now available in the U.S. Using the Galaxy Note® 4, Gear VR Innovator Edition gives content creators and VR enthusiasts a chance to get their hands on the first low persistence virtual reality experience powered by a smartphone, enabling developers and early adopters to see and experience content as it is created.
“With Gear VR Innovator Edition, Samsung is putting the device in the hands of creators to craft amazing experiences, as we define this new mobile category together,” said Justin Denison, vice president, Product Strategy and Marketing, Samsung Telecommunications America. “This is a great opportunity for the enthusiast community, developers and Samsung to get feedback and continue to innovate in this exciting new space.”
At launch, Gear VR Innovator Edition includes sample gaming and experiential content like HeroBound, a whimsical dungeon exploration adventure, Anshar Wars, a multiplayer space shooter, and theBlu, an exploration of undersea life, along with a number of other titles and demos. There will also be a variety of 3D 360° video content available, such as a specially filmed portion of the Cirque du Soleil show, Zarkana. These made-for-VR demos, games, and experiences are available for download through the Oculus platform.
Gear VR Innovator Edition leverages the Galaxy Note 4’s display for breathtaking 360° experiences and stunning visuals to create an immersive experience, thanks to a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED® display, ultrafast response time and the Gear VR’s optimized tracking hardware. Equipped with a touch pad, back button, volume controls and focus adjustment wheel, Gear VR Innovator Edition’s flexible, lightweight materials make it comfortable to wear and easy-to-use.
Gear VR Innovator Edition is available for $199 online at Samsung.com and ATT.com.
Full details are available at www.samsungmobilepress.com and www.samsung.com. Developers can access the Oculus Mobile SDK at developer.oculus.com/. Software updates required for Galaxy Note 4 based on carrier availability.