The long-awaited consumer edition of the Samsung Gear VR headset is finally in the hands of the public. VR's play for the mainstream just stepped up a gear.
To understand the power of VR you really need to experience it first hand. Words can't do it justice. Video fails to capture the immersive and other-worldly quality of a high-calibre experience. Even 360 videos watched through a mobile or desktop device can't quite convey the magic of virtual reality. Yet buzz about VR has increased to epidemic levels despite the Google Cardboard and brethren headsets such as the Merge being all that was available to the general public, something that changed at the tail end of last week.
While there's still time to wait for the high-fidelity tethered headsets to hit the marketplace, Friday 20th November saw the first headset from major players Samsung and Oculus hit the shelves in the form of the Samsung Gear VR, a high-end mobile headset with extra performance enhancing goodness such as positional head-tracking thrown in for good measure. The Gear VR supports Samsung's flagship mobile devices the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, along with the Note 5 and S6 Edge+, and come in at the handsomely low price of $99/£79. Amazon and Best Buy stock sold out in the opening weekend. For those who already own one of the supported mobile devices with an interest in a VR, it's a no-brainer.
The Gear VR gives its users access to the Oculus Store, already a 100-strong wealth of bespoke VR experiences, games and lifestyle tools, ready to transport the viewer into other worlds whenever they have the urge. And that, dear reader, is the final destination for version 1.0 of vTime, our early access release due to hit the store any day now.
vTime Early Access will give early adopters of the Gear VR the chance to help shape the network from the ground up. If you're one of the many who've already taken the plunge, we'll vTime you very soon.