Remember the Gear VR, Samsung’s Oculus-inspired virtual reality headset? Rather than plugging the headset into a computer or console, you’d slip a phone (just the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, for now) into the headset and it’d act as the display, power source, and brains of the operation. Take the idea of Google Cardboard and make it an actual product, and bam — Gear VR.
This morning, Samsung finally announced a rough shipping window earlier of sometime in “early December”.
Now one more detail has trickled out: the price.
The Gear VR “Innovator Edition” will come in two forms: one for $250 that comes with a mystery (as in, not yet pictured) Bluetooth controller, and one for $200 that is just the headset alone.
Either offering seems pretty damned expensive, considering that you need to bring your own Galaxy Note 4 to the table. That’s a pretty specific device to require, and one that costs $750 off-contract.
At the end of the day, a Galaxy Note 4, Gear VR headset, and a Bluetooth controller could easily set you back a solid grand.
I love the idea of a VR headset that uses a phone for its brains. If VR is to succeed this time around, it’ll need to be considerably less complicated than the Rift currently is, and without the heavy wires all over the place. Something like the Gear VR addresses much of that — but if Samsung expects anyone to actually buy these things, it’ll need to work with an array of interchangeable devices and cost about 1/4 of this price.
Here’s a quick hands-on we got with the device when it was announced in September: