Earlier in the year Oculus VR revealed that its first full consumer-facing virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) would not be the Oculus Rift, but instead the Gear VR mobile-based device, made in partnership with Samsung. The original Gear VR of course released in late 2014, though only as a limited Innovator’s Edition designed for developers and early adopters. This new device, however, is set to be the first time Oculus VR has released a truly consumer product. Today, the new kit has finally been revealed.
The consumer Gear VR has been announced at Oculus VR’s own Oculus Connect developer conference in Hollywood, California. Samsung’s Peter Koo introduced the device to the audience at Brendan Iribe’s keynote speech. The device runs with the Samsung’s entire line of smartphones released in 2015. That includes the Galaxy Note 5, S6 and S6 Edge and Edge+. The kit is 22 percent lighter as well. It costs just $99 USD. It will be out in November 2015, before Black Friday for the US and shortly after for the rest of the world.
Something that won’t feature in the new Gear VR is positional tracking, as confirmed by Oculus VR founder and Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey himself.
The kit has originally been expected to run with the company’s newly revealed enlarged smartphone, the Galaxy Note 5, though support for the device wasn’t mentioned at the phone’s reveal back in August 2015. Fans will remember that this handset’s predecessor, the Galaxy Note 4, was the first of Samsung’s smartphones to support the Gear VR, though was quickly followed up by the Galaxy S6 flagship handset in March 2015. A new version of Gear VR was created for the phone, making this the third iteration of the HMD within a year.
Release details for the new device, including a date and pricing are yet to be provided.
VRFocus will continue to follow the new Gear VR closely, reporting back with any further updates on it.