We’re expecting VR HMDs to adopt an update cycle closer to smartphones than consoles. If new rumours are to be believed, Samsung is already living up to those expectations.
Sammobile is reporting that Samsung’s next entry in its Note series of enlarged smartphone devices – said to be the Galaxy Note 6 – will include a new type of USB port. Specifically, the device will use a USB Type-C slot, which is an altogether different shape to the microUSB ports seen in many of its recent handsets. The site wasn’t able to confirm if this would be a USB 3.1 port, however. Of course, you can take all of this with a pinch of salt for now, although tradition suggests that Samsung’s next phone would indeed be the Galaxy Note 6.
This could mean big things for Gear VR, which connects to Samsung’s phone via a dedicated microUSB input. Unless Samsung was planning to release some sort of adapter for the kit – which would be a challenge considering the limited space it would have to work with to keep an already huge phone in front of the Gear VR’s lenses – the company would likely have to release a new version of the device. Perhaps that’s to be expected, as Gear VR would be approaching its own year anniversary on Nov. 20 if the new phone was to launch later in the year.
It’s not an entirely alien concept – the original Innovator’s Edition of the device launched in December 2014 and only supported the Galaxy Note 4. A new version of the kit was released just months later to accommodate the smaller Galaxy S6 and the first consumer version came just half a year after that. If a potential Galaxy S8 would also incorporate a USB Type-C slot, then this new edition would become mandatory for many Gear VR owners later down the line. Will consumers accept a new consumer edition so soon after the launch of the original one, though?
The lower cost of the kit could help ease any buyer remorse, and it would give Samsung a chance to include some much requested features, though elements like positional tracking still seem far off. Either way, we’ll be sure to find out more later this year.