Mark Zuckerberg had a big Oprah moment at today’s Facebook F8 developer conference:
All of the 2000-ish attendees are getting a brand-new Samsung Gear VR virtual reality headset, and a Samsung phone to power it.
A Gear VR headset is $100 on its own; the current Samsung Galaxy S7 flagship phone starts at around $700. So figure it’s about an $800 value in total.
The asking price for an F8 ticket is $595. It may not be a brand new car, Oprah-style, but that’s still a pretty good savings.
The Gear VR is designed to be an affordably-priced virtual reality headset, that uses a required Samsung phone slotted into the front to make it all work — it won’t work without one.
Zuckerberg’s generosity isn’t entirely without ulterior motives. The Gear VR was developed jointly with Facebook’s Oculus VR subsidiary.
And with the long-awaited Oculus Rift headset finally getting into consumers’ hands, Zuckerberg and Facebook want the developers in attendance to make as many virtual reality apps and videos as possible.