Samsung’s new enthusiast-aimed virtual reality headset will cost $200, setting an ambitious price point for the device ahead of its release next month.
The Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, slated for December release, has a slot to hold the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which serves as the device’s display. Slide the Samsung smartphone into the Gear headset, and the headset’s lenses stretch and magnify the phone’s flat screen across a wide field of view, making the wearer feel like they’re in an immersive environment.
The headset will cost $200, and $249 when bundled with a Bluetooth gamepad, Samsung virtual reality partner Oculus VR said in a blog post Wednesday. But for users who don’t have a Galaxy Note 4 smartphone already and have to buy one, the total cost to experience virtual reality with the Gear VR will be at least $300 to $800 more expensive.
The Gear VR Innovator Edition isn’t a fully-fledged consumer product — instead, it’s a stepping stone device aimed at developers and other virtual reality enthusiasts so they can design software for a consumer-grade model that will be released later. It’s unclear if the consumer version of the VR will come at a different price point, but $200 would make the Gear VR a full $150 cheaper than Oculus VR’s current non-Samsung device.
The virtual reality company Oculus VR was bought by Facebook in a $2 billion deal that closed over the summer. The Gear VR, a partnership with Samsung, was first announced in September.
Oculus also announced Wednesday that users can now download the Oculus Mobile SDK, a software system that developers can use to make apps, games and other functions for the Gear VR.