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Samsung Gear VR consumer edition goes on sale in the US

VR-curious Samsung phone owners in the US can now strap on the first consumer edition of the Korean firm’s Gear VR headset.

The $99 device, which is compatible with all of Samsung’s 2015 flagship handsets, is now officially on sale after pre-orders opened earlier this month.

The Oculus-powered device allows any one with a Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge(+) or Galaxy Note 5 to slide in their smartphone and enjoy a range of virtual reality experiences.

Until now Samsung has only launched developer-centric the Gear VRs, under the Innovator Edition tag.

The consumer model is lighter and more comfortable with improved motion sensing. It also arrives at half the price of price of the previous editions.

It offers full access to 20 arcade gaming classics, via the Oculus Arcade, and ships with a 16GB microSD card loaded with 360-degree videos and 3D movie trailers.

Buyers will also have access to Facebook’s new 360-degree videos feature direct from the news feed, as well as being able to enjoy a ‘cinema-like’ experience using apps like Netflix and Hulu.

This Gear VR prefaces the release of the full Oculus Rift consumer edition in Q1 of 2016.

The Facebook-owned VR firm is hoping enough folks get a taste of this scaled back, smartphone-powered device to convince them to go all-in when the big kahuna comes abounding onto the virtual scene.

A worldwide launch is expected “soon,” but Samsung and Oculus are yet to confirm an official release date.