Samsung?s much awaited virtual reality (VR) headset, the Gear VR, is headed to Best Buy stores today. This marks the first time that a VR gadget becomes available to people at the consumer level. But will this Samsung offering live?up to the hype? Will the steep investment?be worth it if you jump into the wagon and buy this early?
Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition
The Samsung Gear VR that will actually hit store shelves today is the Innovator Edition. It?s made with the help of Oculus VR, a Facebook-owned company. This model is different from Oculus Rift or many other VR headsets as it doesn?t have it?s own display and processor. Instead, you need to fit in a Snapdragon 805-powered Galaxy Note 4–Samsung?s current generation phablet. The Gear VR-Note 4 combo turns the device into a quad HD virtual reality head-screen capable of delivering an immersive, low-latency projector, with a 360-degree visual experience.
Samsung originally created?this device with?developers in mind, but it is apparently useful?for anyone interested in the 3D platform. You can waltz into a Best Buy store and get the Innovator Edition for $199.99. This release comes shortly after Facebook disclosed its plans of allowing 360-degree videos in the social network?s News Feed. The Menlo Park-based company used the Samsung Gar VR to demonstrate this upcoming development during its recently concluded F8 Developer Conference.
What you need to know before you buy
While this tool promises to fulfill your dream of becoming part of the video you?re watching or the game you?re playing, there?s one obvious reason why you shouldn?t buy it, at least not yet. As mentioned above, it works by slotting in a Galaxy Note 4 with the VR unit. The problem is, it only works with the Note 4 and not with any other device. So if you already own an iPhone 6 or Nexus 6, are you willing to purchase another pricey handset just so you can enjoy this trendy VR headset?
If you?re planning to grab the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge soon, Samsung?s latest flagship smartphones, this probably won?t be a problem as the company plans on making the Gear VR compatible with said models.
Another pressing concern is the amount of content available. So you just laid your hands on a Gear VR and tried it on for the first time at home. After that, you scramble to look for nice videos or games supported by the device only to be disappointed later on because you realize there weren?t enough content.
Facebook intends to address that limited content issue soon as it promises to provide more “spherical” 360-degree videos. Even so, you should really do yourself a favor and find a Best Buy store that offers demos so you can get the chance of trying it first before buying.
Photo Credit: ?Samsung