When the Gear VR mobile-based virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) finally arrives in the US later this week it will support Samsung’s line-up of 2015 smartphones. That includes the flagship Galaxy S6, curved Galaxy S6 edge, enlarged Galaxy Note 5 and the combination of the previous two in the Galaxy S6 edge plus. What isn’t supported is the Galaxy Note 4, last year’s entry into the larger smartphone range that was the first handset to support an Innovator’s Edition of the Gear VR. As such, fans have been wondering if the device will continue to see support going forward.
Now the team behind one of Gear VR’s most promising new titles has admitted that developing for the older device is proving to be a ‘significant challenge’. Ustwo Games, creator of Monument Valley, released its new first-person adventure, Land’s End onto the S6 version of the Gear VR store last week. A Galaxy Note 4 version of the title hasn’t been promised but Ustwo Games has now stated that, while it’s ‘looking into’ a version for last year’s model, it’s proving to be a ‘significant challenge’ achieve a consistent framerate of 60fps on the device.
“Looking into it,” the developer noted on Twitter when asked about possible Galaxy Note 4 support. “Getting consistent 60fps on the older note4 is a significant challenge.”
The problem arises from the Galaxy Note 4’s processor which is becoming outdated by VR’s high standards and has been improved in Samsung’s latest handsets. When an Innovator’s Edition of Gear VR for S6 was launched earlier in the year it was confirmed that some titles would now arrive on the Galaxy Note 4 after the new version in order to give developers time to optimise them. As more and more developers settle into the newer handsets, though, it could be that the Galaxy Note 4 starts to get left behind altogether.
VRFocus will continue to follow the Gear VR closely, reporting back with the latest updates on the device.