Samsung on Wednesday formally announced the Samsung Gear VR Innovator edition at a developer conference, and its partner Oculus VR has revealed the price of the virtual reality wearable, which will be available from "early December" at $199 (approximately Rs. 12,250). The Innovator Edition is launching in the US only. Earlier reports had suggested that the headset - which will work in tandem with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as a virtual reality display - would go on sale from December 1, for around Rs. 11,500.
Samsung announced several content partnerships as well, including one with Marvel's Avengers - Gear VR users will gain exclusive access to Tony Stark's Lab inside the new Avenger's Tower. Other content partnerships include a 360-degree live action 3D VR experience from Cirque De Soleil, content from DreamWorks (the company behind movies such as Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon) and a VR version of Temple Run.
According to Oculus, the $199 version is the standalone headset, which comes with a touch pad and back button for inputs. For $249, you can get a version of the headset that comes bundled with a Bluetooth gamepad. Developers can also download the mobile SDK from the Oculus website.
The $199 price tag for the Gear VR headset is pretty reasonable, but it comes with the additional cost of needing to have a Galaxy Note 4 (which currently costs Rs. 58,300 in India). This also sets a benchmark for the final consumer version of the Oculus Rift, which is likely to cost more than the Gear VR, because it will come with a display and other sensors built in, while the Gear VR makes use of the phone for those functions.
At the same conference, Samsung also announced a 3D camera, called Project Beyond, that will be used to generate content for the Gear VR headset. The camera will not be going on sale but will be used to create 3D, 360 degree images that can be viewed through the Gear VR. These cameras will be placed around the world to generate 3D imagery for Gear VR users to "visit".