The Samsung Gear 360 virtual reality camera unveiled back at the MWC 2016 has finally hit the U.S., but it's available only in limited quantities for now.
More specifically, the Gear 360 won't be widely available to all just yet. The neat 360-degree camera is starring at the VidCon conference in Anaheim, California, and a few units will be on sale there. If you happen to be in California and attend VidCon, you'll be able to get the gadget for $349.99. Otherwise, you'll have to wait for a wider release, which should occur later on.
"We want to bring the power of VR technology directly to the people," says Samsung CMO Marc Mathieu. "To help creators learn and perfect the art of VR storytelling, we've built an entire VR ecosystem that pushes beyond the frame and empowers them to develop unforgettable, immersive stories, and inspires us all to do the same."
Samsung aims to offer that vast virtual reality ecosystem with its VR devices and services, allowing fans to view as well as create immersive VR content. The company joined the VR party a while back, but the Gear 360 is its first consumer VR camera.
Samsung makes no mention of a wider U.S. release for the gadget, but should offer more details at a later date. For now, even limited availability still counts for something. The price may be a turnoff for some, however, especially considering that you should also get a Gear VR and a top-notch Galaxy smartphone to maximize its potential. That would amount to another $800 or so, and added to the $349.99 price of the Gear 360, the investment goes well beyond $1,000. That is, if you want the full VR experience Samsung has to offer.
To further ensure everything works well for a full VR ecosystem, Samsung also re-launched its Samsung Milk VR app, now rebranded as Samsung VR.
The Samsung Creators initiative, meanwhile, will include classes and seminars to help filmmakers create immersive, high-quality VR videos and learn how to use the Gear 360 camera. The courses start at VidCon, while a competition is set for July when indie filmmakers will be able to submit their Gear VR and Gear 360 content. Samsung will choose one winner for each of its 10 categories, which include tech, music, gaming, fashion, sports and more.
For this initiative, Samsung also teamed up with YouTube content creator Casey Neistat to put emerging creators on YouTube in the spotlight and help take 360 video storytelling to the next level.