Samsung Gear VR opens for pre-orders

The $99 virtual reality headset is to begin shipping from November 20.

As of November 11, Samsung has started accepting pre-orders for its head-mounted virtual reality device, the Gear VR.

Developed in conjunction with Facebook-owned Oculus VR, for whose Oculus Rift Samsung is supplying displays, the retail ready Gear VR supersedes the Innovator Editions introduced from December 2014.

A 19% lighter shell, new foam cushioning for increased comfort, and an enhanced touchpad were identified as improvements over the Innovator Editions.

Partnerships with Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox, Twitch and Vimeo bring video and film to the VR device, while the South Korean tech firm promises “dozens of new made-for-VR games,” namedropping “Gunjack” from CCP (sci-fi MMO “Eve: Online”) and “Land’s End” from Ustwo Games (mobile hit “Monument Valley.”)

Amazon, Best Buy, and Samsung’s own website were named as approved online outlets by Samsung Electronics America, with Best Buy’s store locations as physical retail partner, and T-Mobile stores offering the Gear from November 27, both in-store and online; AT&T was also named but without specifics.

The consumer edition of the Gear VR is designed for use with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.

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