Best Buy Becomes First Retailer To Sell Samsung’s Gear VR Headset (Galaxy Note 4 Not Included)

Folks trying out the demo of the Samsung Gear VR at International CES.

Folks trying out the demo of the Samsung Gear VR at International CES.

The Samsung Gear VR headset has been on sale since the fall, but it’s been hiding quietly on the Samsung website, which isn’t exactly the place most of us do our shopping. But now the virtual reality headgear has popped up on the website for Best Buy.

BGR.com noticed that the Gear VR is now available on BestBuy.com.

This appears to be the first time that Samsung has allowed a third-party retailer to sell the product to consumers. You can find the Gear VR on Amazon and eBay, but from individual sellers, many of whom charge significantly more than the $199 retail price tag for the device.

The move to sell the Gear VR through a major retailer seems to indicate that Samsung is finally ready to bring the headset to a larger consumer audience.

At CES 2015 in January — where we were able to get our eyes on the product and found it surprisingly satisfying — Samsung announced that it would be loading up its Milk VR store with new and regularly updated content for the Gear VR.

And late last week Samsung dropped its first ad for the Gear VR onto YouTube, though the 1:47 clip has been criticized for focusing too much on the external product. Though admittedly, it’s not easy to get across the virtual reality experience through a commercial.

The big drawback for the device is that it currently only works with a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, so if you don’t happen to have that particular pricey phone — which clicks into the Gear VR — you’re out of luck.

Yes, this allows the company to sell the Gear VR for a reasonable price, but since most people are locked into their phones for two years at a time, the decision to require one particular model of phone for the device seems to put a low cap on the number of people who can ultimately buy the Gear VR.

The other prototype VR devices we saw at CES were one-piece headsets that didn’t require a separate phone to supply the video. They will likely have higher price points when they come to the market but won’t face the obstacle of trying to convince consumers to also buy a new, expensive smartphone.