Back at its event in August, when it launched the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge plus, Samsung also unveiled the first consumer-focussed Gear VR headset. The ‘Innovator Edition’ tag has been dropped, and you can now pre-order the latest version of the Samsung Gear VR from Best Buy for $99. It’s compatible with all the latest flagship Samsung Galaxy products including the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5.
Samsung built the new Gear VR to be lighter and more comfortable to wear than its predecessor. It’s built with flexible padding, has an easy-to-use touchpad on the side, and ships with a 16GB microSD card loaded with 3D movie trailers and 360-degree videos to enjoy right out of the box.
Multiple companies are aiming to transform the way we view multimedia with virtual reality. Samsung partnered with Oculus to create an affordable, smartphone-powered headset, while Google developed the even more budget-friendly Cardboard. HTC went more high end with its Vive (which is yet to be released), and of course, there’s Oculus’ own-brand set among others. Even YouTube recently updated its Android app to enhance it with VR content and site-wide Cardboard compatibility.
In short, companies are seeing VR as the next step in multimedia and are betting big to make it happen. Whether or not the Gear VR becomes a lasting or memorable part of that move is yet to be seen.