Virtual Reality is Now Affordable Thanks to Samsung’s $99 Gear VR
The Netflix experience is about to get a whole lot better. Samsung announced the newest edition to Gear VR in collaboration with Oculus , along with a slew of new features and apps. The headset will have a redesigned trackpad, a new Xbox-style Gamepad with dual analogue design, and a new, lower price that’ll be available this November in the United States.
The Gear VR is also getting a major media boost with Netflix, Hulu and Twitch among the few new services that will be available for the headset. The Netflix app, for example, creates a virtual living room for the viewer to watch in. The virtual television in front of you will have the Netflix UI on the screen. You simply look to move the cursor and tap the touchpad on the side of the Gear VR to make your selection. Currently the app allows almost no choice for the user in terms of the environmental changes or the distance of the screen.
The Oculus -made Samsung Gear VR will work with the whole 2015 line of Samsung Smartphones including the Note 5, S6, S6 Edge, and S6 Edge+, and will be priced at $99, a $100 less than the previous Gear VR.
“Virtual reality that’s accessible to consumers is still very young and so it was all about developing the ecosystem,” said Jim Willson, director of immersive products and VR at Samsung. “We had to make sure there was enough content, both in terms of video content … and on the gaming side.”
Wilson hinted at a captive audience that an app like Netflix can provide with more number of hours being spent with these media apps. Apart from Netflix, Oculus also announced 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate, as well as Hulu, Twitch, TiVo and Vimeo for VR apps.
Samsung is looking to expand its consumer base and is looking to make the Gear VR not just a device for niche audience. It may take a while before people take to the virtual reality experience, but with PlayStation also working on its VR gaming technology, the future of media technology looks pretty clear. So, for those who want to experience the next season of Daredevil in virtual reality can get their hands on the Gear VR from November.