Oculus announced the preorder availability of the new version of its jointly-designed Samsung Gear VR, for a price of $99. The lightweight headset is an entry-level portable virtual reality solution designed for use with smartphones, specifically the 2015 lineup of Samsung Galaxy devices.
Samsung's new Gear VR is one choice among a plethora of competing mobile VR devices, such as Noon VR (and to a lesser extent, Google Cardboard) in the emerging smartphone-turned-virtual reality device market. However, the new Gear VR is one of the only devices that works solely with the company's own smartphones.
The new Samsung Gear VR appears to have a much sleeker design than previous models, with a smooth enclosure that Samsung claims is 19 percent lighter than the previous Innovator model, weighing only 1.5 pounds. The headset also features compatibility for the latest Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy S6 models (S6, edge, edge+).
In addition, several made-for-VR games were released for Gear VR, including Land's End, Bandit Six: Salvo, and Dead Secret. The Oculus Arcade also made its debut, offering over 20 classic games like Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Gauntlet in a virtual arcade. Samsung claimed that more games, such as Gunjack and Anshar Wars 2, are coming soon.
Derek Forrest is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. PC gaming, graphics hardware and VR devices are among his favorite topics to cover. He is a lifelong PC enthusiast, former IT administrator and a custom PC builder with a penchant for creating music, voice acting and all things geek.