You might not want a Samsung Gear VR – not yet, anyway. The first Samsung Gear VR you’re going to see on the market – as early as this afternoon – is the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition. This may look like a consumer release, but it’s not. AT&T may be suggesting that it is, and Samsung may be suggesting that it is, the team at Oculus VR are making relatively clear that this is not meant to be the end-all, be-all release for the Gear VR. It’s got Oculus branding on it, after all – they’re not going to let anything out the gate suggesting it’s final before they agree 100% that it is, truly, ready for everyone.
The key line you need to be aware of in the Oculus VR release for this device is this: “Though it’s missing several key components for comfort and presence, we’re working with Samsung to improve in every vertical including optics, distortion, heat, weight, ergonomics, tracking, and display tech.” We’ve added the emphasis there for you.
Oculus VR adds that “Ultimately, it’s a long term effort that we’re committed to getting right.”
The release you’re seeing this week is made for developers. Not unlike the only versions of the Oculus Rift you can buy right now, this device and those devices are made to be worn and used by software creators.
The Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition is made to be a tool to craft the future of mobile virtual reality.
That means virtual reality experiences hosted by a mobile device – a smartphone or a tablet. This version of the Gear VR only works with the Galaxy Note 4 – specifically NOT with the Galaxy Note 4 Edge.
Make sure you understand what you’re getting into here before you drop $199 with Samsung or AT&T. It’s not like buying a nearly-free Google Cardboard unit, and it’s not like buying a game console either.
If you DO pull the trigger, though, make sure you’re up on Darknet as soon as possible.