Slowly but surely, Samsung has allowed limited international sale of Gear VR, the companies ‘Innovator Edition’ VR headset. But in comparison to the far reaching nature of the Galaxy Note 4, the smartphone powerhouse behind Gear VR which can be ordered directly from Samsung in a majority of countries, the world market penetration of the quasi-consumer VR headset is still lacking.
As some US residents had trouble getting ahold of Gear VR during the device’s December launch due to an unanticipated depletion of stock on the first day, VR enthusiasts from the rest of the world looked on with quiet jealousy. It would be an untold number of months until individual country-specific Samsung websites unlocked their pre-order function, releasing the device to patient international customers who either didn’t want to fiddle with reshipping schemes or grossly inflated prices on Ebay.
Below is a list of the 9 countries where Gear VR is either in stock, or currently sold out—along with one single country still advertising pre-order status.
Although all of these countries (sorry Sweden) have access to the physical device, the paid app store is still only accessible in the US, and can only take US credit cards for payment processing. Gear VR users outside of the United States can still download free apps from the store, but will have to wait yet again for the same sort of red carpet treatment the US market seems to be garnering from the Korean manufacturer.
We reached out to Oculus about availability of the paid store outside the US and were told that “[the] international rollout will be announced soon.”
Meanwhile, we see different positioning per region of Samsung quasi-consumer ‘Innovator Edition’ device. Here we see some official marketing material that shows Gear VR from three very different perspectives, coming from Australia, the US, and the most commercial example from Spain.
And while even Canada and Mexico can’t seem to get their hands on the device in-country from Samsung, Best Buy has announced that they will be bringing Gear VR to over 100 brick-and-mortar stores for demos and sale.
Here’s to hoping that the second iteration of Gear VR, supporting both Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, is going to get into a lot more hands a lot quicker, because VR is too good of a thing to keep to ourselves.