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The first virtual reality headset for everyone

The first virtual reality headset for everyone

Virtual reality isn't a new idea. It's been tried, and failed to take off, many times over the last few decades. Part of that was the bulky technology that didn't offer the best experience, and part of that was the cost.

In the last few years, however, virtual reality has come back in a big way, partly thanks to crowdfunding and a little company called Oculus. Sure it's early attempts at virtual reality headsets were a bit crude, but Facebook saw enough potential to buy the company for $2 billion. And other companies like Samsung and Microsoft are getting on board, too.

The technology has steadily improved so that headsets are small and light. Plus, advances in display technology have just about eliminated the old VR problem of motion sickness. See what the upcoming Oculus Rift headset offers, including details of its surprising partnership with Microsoft.

However, cost is still a factor. At $200 or more for a VR headset, and likely much more for the new Oculus Rift, it's not something everyone is going to rush out and buy.

Oculus is trying to change that by selling the latest model of its Gear VR headset for just $99. The new model, which ships in November, is 22% lighter than the last model and more comfortable to wear.

Even though the price is right, there is a slight hurdle. The Gear VR is much like Google Cardboard, which uses your smartphone as the screen. Unlike the free Google Cardboard, however, the Gear VR has built in tracking sensors, a touch pad, speakers with volume control, and a nice system that keeps it comfortably on your head.

Gear VR is made in partnership with Samsung, so it's no surprise it only works with flagship Samsung phones like the Note 4, Note 5, Galaxy S6, S6 edge or S6 edge+. If you want something that works with your computer or other gadgets, you'll be paying for a more expensive VR headset with its own screen.

However, just offering a headset at $99 could increase awareness of virtual reality and bump up demand. Plus, there is going to be plenty of content available for it, as Oculus is launching Oculus Arcade that lets you play classic games like "Pac-Man" and "Sonic the Hedgehog."

The Gear VR is also going to have Netflix support, so you can have the experience of watching movies in your living room no matter where you are. It would also be a good way to use your phone privately while in public areas.

So, how about it? Does a $99 virtual reality headset tempt you to buy? Let us know your thoughts on this development in the comments.

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Source: BuzzFeed
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