Previously only available online from Samsung, the Gear VR mobile headset is now available in the US from Best Buy, one of the country’s largest electronics retailers.
The $199 Gear VR package (headset only, no bundled gamepad) is now available from Best Buy online and through in-store pickup. It isn’t clear yet whether or not Gear VR will be actually be sold or available for demo in the store.
The path to Gear VR, Samsung first mobile VR headset, appearing for sale from Best Buy was a curious one. Spotted in a few stores as far back as September, 2014, the units seemed to have been quickly pulled (or perhaps never officially deployed) and didn’t even resurface when the device went on sale officially from Samsung in early December. Samsung reps reportedly told curious folks that they’d need to sign a waiver before being able to demo the device in stores. This legal snafu seemed most likely the culprit for the delayed availability, especially seeing the 16 point ‘Product Use Warnings‘ that are linked on the product page.
Careful observers will notice the lack of the ‘Innovator Edition’ moniker which Samsung and Oculus has been using to describe the headset’s not-quite-consumer-ready nature. Oculus calls the unit a “development kit” outright, while Samsung prefers to stick with “it’s intended for developers, early adopters, and enthusiasts.” Fortunately, the page does make it clear that the headset is only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone.
Want Gear VR faster? You can buy Gear VR on Amazon through several third-party resellers (currently priced at a premium), several of which are offering the Amazon Prime treatment, which means free two-day shipping (or cheap one-day shipping).