Samsung's $99 Gear VR Headset to Arrive in Time for Holidays


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By Devin Coldewey

It'll be a while before all-in-one virtual reality headsets hit the shelves — the Oculus Rift system and HTC's Vive won't arrive until next year — but in the meantime, you can have a more DIY experience with Samsung's latest Gear VR and a recent Galaxy S smartphone.

Related: Oculus Rift Is Ready for the Public, Will Ship in Early 2016

Any recent Samsung flagship phone (Galaxy S6, Edge, Edge+, or Note5) serves as the screen in the headset, which appeared in a more expensive, limited fashion earlier this year. Lenses inside separate the on-screen images so they go to the correct eye and produce the 3-D effect.

Head tracking and other functions are also handled by the phone, making the headset somewhat less of a dedicated solution than the complex systems used by HTC and Oculus. You'll need to provide your own headphones as well. But with a price tag of $99 and expected to ship this November, Gear VR, unveiled Thursday, will be one of the easiest ways to access virtual reality content out there.

Not that there's that much content to begin with — a set of demo games and apps will be available, and you can watch Hulu and Netflix in a virtual living room, but whether that's something anyone will want to do remains to be seen.