[Update] Gear VR pre-orders available from Best Buy, release date set for November 20th
UPDATE (11/10 – 1:40 am PST): Best Buy has opened up pre-orders for the $99.99 consumer edition of the Samsung Gear VR. According the the page, the release will be “Friday, November 20th.” Additionally, the site is advertising “Free Shipping” for the device. The official Samsung site remains as it was at the original time of composition. We will continue to follow this story as it develops throughout the morning.
UPDATE (11/10 – 10:40am PST): When the pre-order site launched on BestBuy.com, it advertised a “16GB microSD card included” that “comes pre-loaded with 3D movie trailers and 360° videos.” However, according to our sources, this will not be the case and is copy error on the site.
UPDATE (11/10 – 10:48am PST): Possible concerns about supply and demand may actually be warranted. It appears that Best Buy has capped pre-orders for the device at no more than three per customer.
UPDATE (11/10 – 12:37PM PST): Those looking to pre-order in bulk should check out Amazon. The site is allowing each user to pre-order as many as 30 headsets at once.
Earlier today, Samsung went partially live with the site for the consumer edition of the Gear VR. The website features images of the improved device, which will support the Galaxy S6 edge+, S6 edge, S6 and Note5, along with a block of text at the bottom:
“FREE TO ROAM. Put on the Gear VR and leave the weight of the real world behind. Being lighter, better fitting and with improved controls, you’re all set to reach new levels and explore new realms.”
Digging a little deeper into the site’s code we were able to uncover three commented out buttons, “Pre-Registration,” “Pre-Order,” and “Buy Now.” If Samsung opens with a round of pre-registrations before pre-orders, it may suggest a possible gap initially between supply and demand for the headset. By allowing users to pre-register for the pre-order, it helps to (a) gauge interest in the Gear VR ahead of Black Friday, and (b) make sure that those who have been supporting the industry thus far (i.e. 99% of you reading this article right now) get their Gear VR’s on release day. UPDATE (11/10 – 1:40 am PST): The availability of pre-orders on Best Buy’s site suggests that Samsung may skip “Pre-Registration” all together.
Need help deciding which phone to pair with your Gear VR? Palmer Luckey discusses the tradeoffs for VR between the Galaxy S6 edge+, S6 edge, S6 and Note5
The consumer edition of the Gear VR is lighter and more ergonomic than its predecessors and the improved design on the touch pad drastically improves one’s ability to interact with it when blinded to the world by the headset. We will continue to follow this story as it develops throughout the day and coming weeks.