Samsung might have just spilled the beans on the pricing for the company’s foray into hardcore gaming. The Gear VR, according to a spokesperson at New York Fashion Week, will cost only $199, cheaper than some Android Wear smartwatches. That said, that price doesn’t include one crucial piece of the equipment: the Galaxy Note 4.
For all intents and purposes, the Samsung Gear VR is a smartphone accessory designed and tailor-fitted for the Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy Note 4 alone. Without the phablet, the Gear VR is literally an empty shell, only sporting buttons, touchpads, and some motion sensors of its own. The Galaxy Note 4 provides not just the display but also the processing power and the software that gives the illusion of 3D. Even audio comes from the smartphone, which has to be piped either through earphones or a bluetooth headset for the best experience.
Pricing for the Galaxy Note 4 itself hasn’t been detailed yet, but it is expected to run around $299 with a two-year subscription, and $799 without. So in order to get the full VR experience, buyers will have to cash out almost $1,000 for both. Availability dates and sources for the Gear VR haven’t yet been announced, so there might still be some unknown details that could make that combination a lot more accessible.
The Gear VR, a collaboration betwween Samsung and Occulus, could very well help commercialize and expand the VR market, especially considering that the headset itself is cheaper than the latter’s development kit, which is, as the name implies, really more targeted at developers rather than consumers. That said, the total price of the setup ends up being a lot more expensive, especially for those who don’t give a care for Samsung’s latest S Pen phablet.