The current iteration of Samsung's Gear VR was made with developers and early adopters in mind, but that hasn't discouraged Best Buy from selling it to everyday consumers. Previously exclusive to AT&T and Samsung, the $199 mobile virtual reality headset is now available on the superstore's website, complete with some pretty off-the-wall health disclaimers.
(Editors' Note: This article was updated at 7:01 pm ET with a statement from Samsung.)
Ironically, our review of the Gear VR states that the device is "not for Bob and Betty Best Buy - yet," even though the developing wearable has just been thrust into the masses. While we found that Gear VR provides fun, immersive virtual reality experiences, the headset's currently thin roster of games and apps suggests that it needs some time to grow into a fully-baked entertainment device.
Curious, we asked Samsung about this seeming about-face, and the company doesn't agree that it's a change in strategy. "We have had extremely positive reception to Gear VR over the past couple months, and we are excited to work with Best Buy to make the Gear VR available online through its website," said a company spokesperson. "We are also working closely with Best Buy to provide in-store demonstrations at select locations soon, so more people can experience Gear VR."
MORE: Samsung Gear VR Review
Keep in mind that the Gear VR only works with the Galaxy Note 4 device, so if you own a Galaxy S5 or other device you'll be out of luck. Despite that limitation, we had a blast with the virtual reality headset, especially when watching Cirque du Soleil 360-degree videos and playing space shooting games like Anshar Wars.
As for the disclaimers, some warnings make sense -- "Don't use the device if you've had a seizure," "Don't play with it in a moving vehicle," "Take frequent breaks" -- and others are disturbing.
Apparently, if you're sleepy, drunk, have a stomach ache or are hungover, Gear VR is going to make things way worse for you. The disclaimers also suggest that Gear VR will put you in such an immersive trance that you shouldn't drive or operate machinery until way after you've used one. Those allergic to the headset's paint or metals should be wary of itching, eczema and skin swelling, and, even though using Gear VR isn't very straining physically, the disclaimers warn pregnant women against using one.
Assuming none of that has deterred you, you can buy a Gear VR for $199 on Best Buy's website.
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