Samsung’s mobile phone (and Oculus) powered Gear VR vr headset us to become available for pre-order in its first consumer form on November 10th according to a user who attended a recent Best Buy tech demo. The new $99, lighter model will replace the two previous ‘Innovator’ editions first launched at the end of last year

According to a reddit user who apparently attended a tech demo session organised by US retail giant Best Buy, we’re finally going to see a consumer release for the Samsung Gear VR headset next week. Pre-orders are to go on sale on Tuesday November 10th with the first units set to land on buyer’s doorsteps from November 23rd.

samsung gear vr consumer version (8)

The new Gear VR was announced at Oculus’ Connect developer conference back in September and is set to work with all 2015 Samsung Galaxy smartphones. The original ‘Innovator Edition’ was launched last year exclusively for the Note 4 with a later iteration, designed for the S6 line of smartphones,  announced March this year. Both early iterations were designed as toes in the water, ostensibly for early adopters and developers.

samsung gear vr consumer version (6)

The consumer focused Gear VR is 22% lighter, down to 310 grams, and will retail for $99, half the price of the original innovator edition. The new unit also features an enhances version of the original touchpad (pictured above). At Oculus Connect, Samsung said that the new edition would be available before the US’ retail event ‘Black Friday.

We’re trying to confirm this news via official channels right now, but the dates do seem to tally with expectations. Whether this means Europe and the rest of the world will also get a look in is unclear at this stage, for now assume US only.

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  • kalqlate

    I suppose the visible cutouts behind the smoked Plexiglas front is to support the phone being inserted in either direction horizontally so that the single camera on current Samsung phones can see through. However, don’t be too surprised if at least one of the next batch of top-end Samsung phones comes with two cameras for stereoscopic capture and feed-thru, turning GearVR into GearAR/VR with basic AR functionality.

    • kalqlate

      Oops! I’m clearly seeing that wrong. The Plexiglas is simply showing through to the lenses of the device. There is no explicit provision for see-thru from the phone; see-thru is there across the full width of the device naturally.

  • vrepl

    I really don’t get the idea – 850$ for very very expensive mobile and fancy version of cardboard? For android games? When you can get it for 1/10 of this price with any phone? Without any controller or head tracking? That’s insane Samsung. And you have to use it in home – nobody will be walking on the street in those. So – what’s the point?? I prefer to buy gpu for PC for this money. Is that just another idea for taking money from stupid people who waiting for VR? If that so – I’m not one of them:)

    • umamart

      I have to strongly disagree with you. The phones by it self’s are really great (worth for your money) and the experience with gear VR is way better than cardboard. Cardboard seems more like a toy, especially when used with cheap phones with small resolution screens. Gear VR is on the top for the mobile application, no doubt.

    • kalqlate

      In conjunction with umamart’s comment: You are taking the wrong perspective. GearVR should be considered a $99 add-on for a high-end phone, not a VR device that requires a high-end phone. It should be considered an afterthought for people who already have or were already considering a high-end Samsung phone. With that proper perspective, $99 for a VERY GOOD, MUCH MUCH BETTER VR experience than Cardboard is so very cheap.

  • Renato Wisocki Junior

    hope Galaxy S7 will have support for GearVR, it is a shame that Galaxy Note 4 is abandoned from samsung, it should work perfectly with the new GearVR but samsung do not care – ‘buy a new phone’ says samsung

  • S. Moore

    Early early Days.. the GearVR is an add on like my Gear Fit, or Gear Circle of devices for my Mobile device. I demoed the DevKit ones for so many folks and not a single person said anything except how much and when. It will be interesting to see how many are sold over the holidays… I know we are getting at least a few pairs for my nephews who already have S6’s.