Virtual Reality For The Mainstream? Samsung Unveils US$99 Gear VR

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Samsung’s upcoming Gear VR headset, developed with Oculus, could help bring virtual reality to the mainstream, carrying a consumer-friendly price tag of US$99 (around $141).While owning a Samsung smartphone is a prerequisite, Samsung has expanded its range of compatible devices for its latest VR venture, with the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, S6 and S6 edge compatible.

The Gear VR is designed to leverage each device’s super AMOLED display, providing “the colour, clarity and performance needed for an amazing virtual reality experience”.

“Samsung has been at the forefront of delivering mobile experiences and Gear VR Innovator Edition launched last year was no exception,” JK Shin, Samsung Electronics CEO and president of IT & Mobile Division, commented.

“We see virtual reality as the next computing platform, and we are thrilled to partner with Oculus on Gear

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VR to set the standard for mobile VR and bring this revolutionary product to consumers.”

The Gear VR is 22 per cent lighter than the Innovator Edition, and is decked out with new foam cushioning designed for greater comfort, while the touchpad has been improved to provide greater control.

“Together with Samsung, we’ve redefined virtual reality and created the best mobile VR experience available today,” Brendan Iribe, Oculus CEO, commented.

“On Gear VR, people are playing immersive VR games with friends, sharing 360 video experiences, and teleporting around the world with photos and videos – and it’s only the beginning for what’s possible with mobile VR.”

Australian pricing has yet to be released, but by way of comparison, the Innovator Edition currently retails for US$199.99 and $299.99 locally. Samsung states the Gear VR is set to ship this fall.

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