After being up for sale in the US, the consumer edition of Samsung's Gear VR virtual reality headset is now all set to hit store shelves north of the border as per latest reports. On Friday, the website of Best Buy Canada listed the device as being available in-store. Disappointingly however, the gadget is not being offered online currently by the retailer, so interested buyers will have to actually visit a brick-and-mortar Best Buy store to get their hands on the headset. While the gadget costs just $99 in the US, it comes with a price-tag of $139 in Canada, which is still a significant reduction from the $250 the innovator edition was priced at. The device recently also went up for sale in Europe at a starting price of â‚¬99.99.
Since on the topic of similarities and lack thereof between the innovator and consumer editions of the Gear VR headset, the new version of the device is said to be around 30 percent lighter than its previous avatar and reportedly comes with better ergonomics, resulting in a more comfortable feel after prolonged stretches of use, when compared to the innovator edition. The consumer edition also sheds the fan that came with its predecessor. The current version also uses a slightly smaller display as compared to the innovator edition devices, thereby having a slightly smaller field of view. The device is fully compatible will all current-generation premium flagships from Samsung, namely, the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ and the Note 5.
The Gear VR virtual reality headset has been developed jointly by two technology companies from two ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, there's Samsung Electronics – the Suwon, South Korea-based consumer electronics behemoth that's a household name across the globe. One the other, there's the Menlo Park, California-based tech startup called Oculus VR, who may have already made a name for itself amongst tech enthusiasts but is still largely an unknown entity amongst mainstream consumers at large. Now that the devices have just started appearing on store shelves around the globe, it will be interesting to note how it's received by early adopters, which could very well prove to be an indicator as to whether VR headsets can make the transition from being a favorite gadget for technology enthusiasts to a must-have device for mainstream consumers.