Samsung unveiled the new Gear VR mobile virtual reality headset at the Oculus Connect developer conference in Los Angeles Thursday: The new Gear VR will start selling in time for Black Friday for $99 in the U.S., and will be available around the world soon after. It will work with all of Samsung’s 2015 flagship smart phones, including the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy Note5.
The new headset is 22 percent lighter, according to Samsung Mobile SVP Peter Koo, and features a new touch pad and other design tweaks. Just like its predecessor, it won’t have an integrated display, but instead offer consumers the ability to insert their own phones as displays.
Samsung first introduced the Gear VR headset, which makes use of consumer’s phones for computing and displaying VR experiences, in September of 2014. The company initially sold Gear VR as an “innovator edition,” targeting developers and early adopters.
With the new headset, the company now aims to target the mass market, and it’s getting a lot of support from Facebook-owned Oculus. The VR company is bringing a lot of new content to Gear VR, including games, movies from major studio partners and Facebook’s new 360-degree videos. Also new on the platform will be a Netflix app, which is being made available to Gear VR this week. Other apps coming to the platform include game live streaming app Twitch.
And 20th Century Fox is making more than 100 movies as VOD titles available through Oculus Video, with titles including “Gone Girl,” “The Maze Runner” and “Birdman.” “VR Cinema is a new way of presenting our movies, and has the opportunity to bring in mass market consumers to Virtual Reality. With Oculus Video, we are leveraging the scale and flexibility of mobile, while continuing to deliver a powerful, emotional experience for consumers,” said Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment president Mike Dunn in a statement.
Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said that mobile VR was key to quickly reach millions, and eventually billions of users with virtual reality experiences. “With mobile VR, you only need a great portable VR device and a smart phone,” he said.