The bad news just keeps on coming for Samsung and its latest phablet, the Galaxy Note 7. First thought to be the most advanced phone yet for Oculus’ Gear VR, the handset now doesn’t support the headset at all.
At least that’s the case for now. Oculus this week disabled Galaxy Note 7 support for the mobile headset following reports that the phone was still having issues after already being recalled once. While some users are seeing smoke come from their devices, others’ are outright exploding. Samsung has ceased production on the phone for now.
The following statement can now be seen on the official Gear VR site:
Oculus is removing support for all Note7 devices on the Oculus platform. Until further notice, Note7 devices will not be compatible with the Gear VR.
While no doubt disappointing for many fans, it’s the right move on Oculus’ part. The Note 7 is clearly unsafe as it and the thought of strapping the phone to your head and running intensive VR apps is, frankly, a little scary. This isn’t the final nail in the coffin; once Samsung fixes the obviously severe issues with its phone and ramps up production again then hopefully Oculus will reintroduce the support.
It’s a bit of an awkward situation given that the most recent iteration of the Gear VR was specifically designed to accommodate the Note 7. It uses a new USB Type-C port, though also features adapters so past Samsung phones can still be used. Currently the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S6 and the curved Edge line all still work with the headset.
The move comes just as Google prepares to launch its own mobile VR ecosystem, Google Daydream. In the coming weeks the company will release a new set of Pixel smartphones and a headset, Daydream View, that represent serious competition to Gear VR’s mobile throne. Will the search engine giant be able to use this head start it’s been given to get ahead?