Google Daydream View VR Headset Revealed: What You Need to Know
Google used today’s Made By Google event to not only unveil its new Google Pixel smartphone, but to also announce its brand new Daydream View VR headset, a new virtual reality option for Android users.
Daydream View is essentially Google’s more robust successor to the surprisingly popular Google Cardboard, offering another VR headset to Android users that is more in line with Samsung’s Gear VR headset this time around. The Daydream View operates similar to the Gear VR, with it requiring a smartphone to be attached to the headset in order to serve as its display. The Daydream doesn’t need to be hooked up to any external source, with it only requiring the headset and your smartphone in order to function.
In terms of design, the Daydream foregoes a plastic chassis in favor of cloth, making it more lightweight than its contemporaries as a result (if a little less easy on the eye). Your smartphone slots in the front of the headset, with you being required to align it centrally as its two lenses will divide your smartphone display in order to create the effect of virtual reality.
Rather than requiring some extra power via the headset as was the case with the Gear VR, the Daydream View instead only operates using your smartphone, with Google providing the means for smartphone manufacturers to more easily incorporate the Daydream software in their devices. As you would guess, the Google Pixel will support the VR platform upon its release.
This means that, outside of the initial cost of a new smartphone, the Daydream View is a very inexpensive VR headset, with it set to retail for just $79 upon release. But that’s not its only advantage over the Gear VR – the Daydream View will also include its very own controller, with it pairing with your smartphone in order to allow you to interact with apps and games. This one addition ensures that developers working on content for the Daydream platform will be far less limited in the projects they create, and while the controller is very minimalist – it only features two buttons – it will provide a ton of new avenues for devs to explore that they wouldn’t be able to achieve on mobile VR headsets such as the Gear VR. The 3-axis controller will launch with every Daydream View headset.
Google announced that a variety of apps would be coming to the platform including Netflix, HBO and Hulu, while the company also revealed that a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them tie-in game would also be launched, coinciding with the highly anticipated Harry Potter prequel. No demonstrations of its games were shown during the presentation.
The Google Daydream View will launch new month, with it currently only being compatible with the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, though it will accommodate more Android phones in the future. It will be available in the US via the Google Store along with Best Buy and Verizon, while it will also go on sale in early November in the UK, Canada, Germany and Australia.