It’s been over three months now since the Gear VR went official at Samsung’s IFA Unpacked event, ready to bring new Note 4 owners into the world of mobile virtual reality. Last month the manufacturer told us that we could expect to see the headset land for sale in the US sometime in early December, but Samsung wasn’t ready to reveal a specific date. This week, it looks like that time time has finally come, as we see the Gear VR quietly go up for sale on both Samsung’s and AT&T’s websites.
Just as anticipated, the headset sells for a cool $200. Both Samsung and AT&T sales look to be online-only, at least for the moment. For that money, you’ll pickup both the Gear VR headset itself, as well as a 16GB microSD card pre-loaded with 3D content – not so much games or anything, but a collection of videos and movie trailers. Buyers who pick up the Gear VR can also score some savings on accessories, getting $30 off Samsung’s $80 wireless gamepad, or $20 off Gear Circle headphones, with the purchase of the headset.
Now all Samsung needs to do is prove that shoppers who just bought an $850 smartphone are willing to pony up an additional $200 for an accessory – and as impressive as VR has the potential to be, over $1000 for the whole setup is a pretty steep bill by any estimate. Will it be a commercial success, or an expensive boondoggle for Samsung? We may not have sales figures for a while yet, but we’re already curious to learn whether or not pricing and very limited device compatibility end up being a death sentence for the Gear VR; with a little luck, we’ll have a better sense of its outlook come early next year.