Are you still using your Samsung Gear VR? If you are, you may want to make the most of it. The South Korean company discontinued the Gear VR as a hardware platform in 2019, and has just announced that it’ll be winding down the software side of things as well. As such Samsung’s XR service, which handles all things VR for the now-defunct hardware, is being shut down.
Dead in the water
If you’ve been using the Gear VR in conjunction with Samsung XR, you’ll notice a few things right off the bat. 360° video uploads are gone, as is the ability to purchase premium videos. If you were one of the folks that purchased videos on the service, you’ve got until 30 September 2020 to view them for the last time. After that, they’re toast and so is your monetary investment in the platform.
By 30 June 2020, the Samsung VR Video app will disappear from the Oculus Store and will no longer be supported by the various Oculus headsets on the market.
Final shutdown for the service and its associated apps is set for 30 September, at which time all user accounts will be terminated and deleted. All videos on the service will be deleted as well, and the app will be removed from every remaining platform.
The sound of… inevitability
Samsung’s shuttering of the Gear VR ecosystem is a small, if annoying, illustration of what’ll happen to just about every cloud-based service you presently spend money on. If Microsoft’s Xbox Live, Sony’s PSN or Valve’s Steam services ever run into serious uphill battles, there’s a chance they’ll just… go away. Taking with them all of the software, apps and games that you paid for. There won’t be any recourse for buyers either. You may have purchased a product but when the service that supports it vanishes, so does the formerly ‘tangible’ item you spent real-world money on.