Update: Both Oculus and Samsung have confirmed to UploadVR that the Galaxy S9 will not enable 6DOF support on Gear VR. We’ve reached out to Qualcomm for further clarification.
Original story: Samsung isn’t quite ready to talk about the future of VR on its latest smartphone, the Galaxy S9 (and the larger S9+), but its official specs confirm that they’re more than ready to tackle the challenge.
In many ways the Galaxy S9, announced yesterday at the company’s Mobile World Congress 2018 press conference, is similar to last year’s S8. It’s got the same 5.8-inch 1440 x 2960 resolution display, for example, and the camera is largely comparable, too. However, on the inside, the Note 9 bumps up its chipset from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 to the new, more powerful Snapdragon 845, while the CPU jumps from the Adreno 540 to the new 630.
Simply put, that means the S9 is Samsung’s most powerful smartphone yet (beating out last year’s Note 8, too), making it ideal for VR, but that’s where the real question lies.
Samsung’s press conference yesterday somewhat predictably didn’t feature a new Gear VR headset. Instead, the company tells UploadVR the phone will support last year’s model (which was the first to introduce a new motion controller).
However a press release from Qualcomm says otherwise, specifically making mention of a ‘Samsung Gear VR for Galaxy S9/S9+’ and stating that the Adreno 630 can deliver features like six degrees of freedom (6DOF) tracking and foveated rendering. It’s not clear, however, if the phone will definitely provide these features for VR or if it’s simply possible (but not accessible) with the technology provided. We’ve reached out to Samsung and Facebook to ask if this feature is indeed on the way to Gear VR and we’ll update you when we get a response.
As for the phones, both are set to be available on March 16th.