Samsung Gear VR

Samsung's been teasing us with the Gear VR — its Galaxy Note 4-powered virtual reality headset born from a partnership with VR pioneer Oculus — for a few months now. We got our faces on it in September. In November at the Samsung Developer Conference we learned that the Innovator Edition would land this month for $199.

And today, it's now available.

The Gear VR is a virtual reality headset that you strap to your face. And inside it, powering the contraption, is a standard-issue Galaxy Note 4. And it's a pretty cool idea. The phone's display is actually what you're seeing through the stereoscopic view. But due to the nature of the mating, the resolution ends up being a bit lacking.

Don't look for the Gear VR to be a huge commercial success just yet. This is very bleeding edge stuff, and Samsung (and Oculus, of course) is looking to get in on the ground floor.

As for content out of the box, you'll get a mix of "gaming and experiential content" on the Note 4-powered headset:

At launch, Gear VR Innovator Edition includes sample gaming and experiential content like HeroBound, a whimsical dungeon exploration adventure, Anshar Wars, a multiplayer space shooter, and theBlu, an exploration of undersea life, along with a number of other titles and demos. There will also be a variety of 3D 360° video content available, such as a specially filmed portion of the Cirque du Soleil show, Zarkana. These made-for-VR demos, games, and experiences are available for download through the Oculus platform.

It's not an inexpensive ride, either. But if you're a VR (and Samsung) fan looking for something different, you're definitely going to want to check this out.

Press Release

December 8, 2014 – DALLAS – Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (Samsung) announced today that the Samsung GearTM VR Innovator Edition powered by Oculus is now available in the U.S. Using the Galaxy Note® 4, Gear VR Innovator Edition gives content creators and VR enthusiasts a chance to get their hands on the first low persistence virtual reality experience powered by a smartphone, enabling developers and early adopters to see and experience content as it is created.

"With Gear VR Innovator Edition, Samsung is putting the device in the hands of creators to craft amazing experiences, as we define this new mobile category together," said Justin Denison, vice president, Product Strategy and Marketing, Samsung Telecommunications America. "This is a great opportunity for the enthusiast community, developers and Samsung to get feedback and continue to innovate in this exciting new space."

At launch, Gear VR Innovator Edition includes sample gaming and experiential content like HeroBound, a whimsical dungeon exploration adventure, Anshar Wars, a multiplayer space shooter, and theBlu, an exploration of undersea life, along with a number of other titles and demos. There will also be a variety of 3D 360° video content available, such as a specially filmed portion of the Cirque du Soleil show, Zarkana. These made-for-VR demos, games, and experiences are available for download through the Oculus platform.

Gear VR Innovator Edition leverages the Galaxy Note 4's display for breathtaking 360° experiences and stunning visuals to create an immersive experience, thanks to a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED® display, ultrafast response time and the Gear VR's optimized tracking hardware. Equipped with a touch pad, back button, volume controls and focus adjustment  wheel, Gear VR Innovator Edition's flexible, lightweight materials make it comfortable to wear and easy-to-use. Gear VR Innovator Edition is available for $199 online at Samsung.com and ATT.com.

Full details are available at www.samsungmobilepress.com and www.samsung.com. Developers can access the Oculus Mobile SDK at developer.oculus.com/. Software updates required for Galaxy Note 4 based on carrier availability.