Samsung's brand new Galaxy Note 7 has been officially announced and amongst the detailed information about the specifications, there came confirmation that the new phablet would benefit from the Vulkan API. This new application programmable interface is designed to improve gaming performance by rewriting how software interacts with application processor and graphics processor cores, streamlining the process and making better use of device hardware. It's a technology that a number of major electronics companies are backing, such as Samsung, Google and NVIDIA. Google added support as part of Android 6.0 Marshmallow and a number of other Android-powered devices already have support baked in. Although the Vulkan API has been described as the "next generation OpenGL initiative" and the standards agency behind Vulkan is the same as that behind OpenGL, when the API was being designed the team decided against making Vulkan backwards-compatible with the older OpenGL standards. The main reason for this is to keep the performance of the Vulkan API up. However, whilst Vulkan has been discussed and even demonstrated on various devices, there haven't been any games able to take advantage of the new technology – until now.
In line with the new Vulkan API, Samsung and Google are releasing the Galaxy Game Pack, which includes $400 worth of games and in-app purchases from the Google Play Store. Of these, four are ready to handle the new Vulkan API for improved gaming performance. The full list consists of Angry Birds Pop Bubble Shooter, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Clash of Kings, Empire: Four Kingdoms, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Hit, Hungry Shark World, MARVEL Contest of Champions, Need for Speed No Limits, Nonstop Knight, Olympus Rising, Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, Sims City Free Play and Vainglory. Of these titles, Hit, Need for Speed No Limits, Olympus Rising and Vainglory support the new Vulkan API.
The Samsung Galaxy Game Pack will be made available from the 20 August through until the 31 January 2017 and it's great to see Samsung getting behind the new technology. The Galaxy Note 7, with its high performance System-on-Chip (either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 or Samsung Exynos 8890) and high resolution, QHD 5.7-inch SuperAMOLED display are already a formidable combination for gaming, especially when backed up by the sizeable 3,500 mAh battery. However, with Vulkan-enabled games offering better performance with the potential for superior battery efficiency, customers into their mobile gaming should thoroughly enjoy the Galaxy Game Pack.