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You can now watch Netflix using virtual reality headsets

2016 is shaping up to be the Year of Virtual Reality, because pretty much every virtual reality headset worth noting is expected to launch sometime during the year, including the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. However, whereas those headsets are going to be gaming-centric and really expensive, Samsung’s own Gear VR headset comes in at an affordable $99.99 and focuses more on lighter entertainment, such as Netflix. That’s right, there’s going to be a Netflix virtual reality app in the near future, which Samsung announced at this week’s Oculus Connect developer conference.

In the near future, when it’s time to relax, you’ll head to the living room, sit on the couch, pick up the remote, turn on the TV, fire up Netflix, and zone out to your favorite show. But the living room, couch, remote, and TV won’t be real—they’ll be simulations on your virtual reality headset. Yesterday (Sept. 24) at Oculus Connect—the Facebook-owned VR company’s developer conference—Samsung announced a new model of its Gear VR headset, and Oculus announced a Netflix streaming app that’ll work on the Gear. The swathe of virtual reality headsets that are due to be released in the coming year—like Oculus’s Rift, and HTC’s Vive—are essentially focused on the hardcore gaming market as they’ll be expensive devices that will require powerful PCs to run effectively. Quartz’s Alice Truong noted, however, that the Gear VR could be the device that brings VR to the mass market, as it costs only $99. And apps like Netflix could prove to be the reason you’ll want to get one.

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