In a notice on its website this week, Samsung revealed that it will slowly shut down its Samsung XR apps over the next few months, ultimately shuttering them in late September. Some changes have already taken place — the 360-degree videos are no longer available, for example, and users can no longer purchase premium videos. The company has also suspended updates for the apps.
The days of phone-based VR systems are largely over, having been replaced by far more powerful and capable PC-based VR systems like Oculus Rift, as well as standalone VR systems like the Oculus Quest. Samsung XR was the company’s own mobile apps for its Gear VR systems, which are now defunct.
The Samsung XR system, put simply, allowed users to view the 360-degree videos on their phone even if they didn’t have a related VR headset to slot their phone into. Samsung says that it is ending the service for the XR on headsets, web, and mobile. Neither Samsung XR nor VR Video clients will receive new updates.
Starting on June 30, the Samsung VR Video app will no longer be available on the Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, or Oculus Go headsets; at that time, the app will also be removed from the Oculus store. The biggest change will take place on September 30, at which point Samsung says that it will suspend the Samsung XR user accounts and then remove them.
Any user information associated will these accounts will also be permanently deleted from the service. Samsung warns that all of the videos published on Samsung XR will also be permanently deleted. In September, the Samsung VR Video app will also stop working with Windows Odyssey and Samsung Gear VR, plus Samsung will pull it from the Microsoft Mixed Reality store.
Android devices will likewise lose support for the Samsung XR app, which will be removed from Google Play and the Galaxy Store.
Brittany A. Roston
Brittany A. Roston