If you’ve got a Galaxy Note 4, you can now tack on Samsung’s experimental virtual reality headset for an extra $200.
As announced in September, the Gear VR Innovator Edition uses Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 smartphone for the display, processing power, and motion detection. The Gear VR itself houses a pair of magnifying lenses and temple-mounted controls.
Samsung developed the Gear VR in conjunction with Oculus, and is pitching it to early adopters while trying to build out some content. Oculus will provide a storefront for virtual reality apps, but Samsung says it will have its own “Milk VR” content service in the future.
In the meantime, Samsung isn’t making any grand promises in terms of app availability. But from the company’s press demonstrations, we can at least expect a virtual cinema, a music visualizer, and a handful of games or game demos.
In addition to the standalone headset, Samsung is selling a controller bundle for an extra $50, or a Bluetooth earbud bundle for an additional $80. PCWorld’s Hayden Dingman called the controller a “hot piece of garbage” after trying it in September, so buyers may want to investigate alternative Bluetooth Android controllers instead.
Why this matters: While Samsung is no stranger to sending experiments into the market, the Gear VR is a big step for Oculus, which until now hasn’t launched any products directly to consumers. The company’s headset for PC is still aimed at developers, and there’s no word on when a finished product will launch. For now, Oculus gets to start building an app store for mobile users, and will reportedly gain access to Samsung display tech in its future PC product as part of the partnership deal.