Oculus Rift is sure a fully operational Gear VR will be ready for consumers later this year

A fully blown consumer version of the Gear VR is nearly ready. Picture Getty Images

It’s not the Oculus Rift headset so many VR enthusiasts are waiting for, but the next best thing is just one Samsung launch away from reality.

Oculus Rift’s VP of Product Nate Mitchell was at Disrupt NY where he told TechCrunch that the Gear VR will officially launch with a Samsung product later this year.

It’s confirmation of a mention by Oculus CTO John Carmack in March, but the most likely candidate for an actual date will be September with the expected launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5.

Gear VR headsets are available right now, but they’re aimed more at developers. The full-blown versions coming in a couple of months are expected to be the first true salvo in the start of a VR battle that will dominate 2016.

By this time next year, three virtual reality products are expected to dominate our living rooms.

  • Valve and HTC’s Vive headset will arrive later this year.
  • Sony’s Morpheus headset for PlayStation 4 will arrive in the first half of next year.
  • Oculus Rift headset will start shipping in “Q1 2016.”

But if it sticks to the rumoured launch schedule, Samsung’s Gear VR has time to wedge itself into the market.

The current Innovator Edition will set you back a modest $249, although you have to own a Galaxy Note 4 or S6 to run it, as they clip onto the front of the headset and provide the screen.

It’s got some pretty decent reviews as well, and any concerns about the battery life could be allayed by rumours of the Note 5 carrying a beefed up 4100 mAh lithium polymer battery.

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