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Gear VR Premium Store to Launch First in US In Spite of International Availability

The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA has treated fans of the Gear VR smartphone-based virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) to some promising updates on the near future. Earlier on in the week VRFocus reported on news that an international release of the kit is expected this month in English-speaking countries first. That still leaves the question of just when the device will launch its premium store, having released in the USA last month with free content only. According to Oculus VR, the ability for VR developers to charge for content will be arriving in the USA first, even if Gear VR is available in other countries.

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The company’s VP of Product Nate Mitchell confirmed as much to VRFocus at CES, noting that the commercialisation of Gear VR is ‘decoupled’ from its international release. This essentially means that the company isn’t waiting on the release of Gear VR in other territories to launch the premium store and will be moving ahead with the USA launch first in spite of which other countries will have the device at the time. It’s not clear just how quickly the premium store will follow in other areas although hopefully it won’t be too far behind.

As it stands Gear VR owners are essentially getting by with a diet of videogame demos and short video-based experiences. Oculus VR is however updating the Oculus VR Store with new content every Tuesday and Darknet developer E McNeill has released the full version of his title onto the store for free until the option to charge finally arrives. Hopefully once the premium store launches the full versions of titles such as Protocol Zero, Viral and Oculus VR’s own Herobound: First Steps will pop up.

VRFocus will continue to follow Gear VR’s progress, reporting back with any further updates on the device.