On Thursday, Samsung Senior Vice President Peter Koo took the stage at the second annual Oculus Connect virtual reality conference to announce the full consumer launch for its GearVR headset, slated to launch in November 2015 for $99.
The news follows last year's launch of the early "Innovator Edition" for the headset, which received a small updated earlier this year. All GearVR headsets require a Samsung phone to act as the display and processor, as well as providing additional motion sensing data. The consumer version of the Gear VR will support "every 2015 Samsung handset," Koo said, including the Galaxy Note 5, S6, S6 Edge, and S6 Edge+.
"This is the device that will take virtual reality mainstream and deliver a virtual reality for everyone," Koo said during Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe's keynote panel.
Though details about the final release were scarce, Koo told the crowd that the new headset will be "22 percent lighter" than the prior model and will receive improvements to the side-of-head touchpad and "overall feel." We also noticedthat this headset doesn't have the overhead strap that was part of the Innovator Edition; now there's just a single strap that goes around the back of the skull. We hope the experience remains comfortable with this change.
The most mainstream-friendly announcement that came alongside GearVR was that Netflix will be launching for the device later today, with VR apps for Hulu, Vimeo, and TiVo joining "in the next few months." GearVR will also be paired at launch with an app called Oculus Arcade, which will allow GearVR users to fake like they're standing in front of arcade cabinet versions of such classic games as Pac-Man, Gauntlet, Spy Hunter, and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Oculus executives also announced that the version 1.0 launch of GearVR's SDK will happen in November.