Google not only released its latest Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, but they also made an announcement concerning its foray into the world of Virtual Reality (VR): through the Google Daydream. Daydream’s premise is pretty simple and straightforward -- it functions as the latest attempt by Google to deliver the wonders of VR to mobile devices (smartphones especially), and will be a far more quality offering compared to the likes of Google Cardboard. And with that, it will definitely cost more, of course.
Google Daydream is not like the flimsy and disposable VR headset known as Google Cardboard. It functions as a peripheral that will be able to deliver higher-quality experiences to those who have smartphones which run on Android 7.0 Nougat or newer. This would mean the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones as well as the LG V20 for the moment, although do expect a slew of other devices to follow later this year, and the next as well.
At least with Google Daydream, you have a far more affordable option to experience VR in your home or office without having to fork out a small fortune for the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Out later this November, the Google Daydream as well as its controller should cost approximately $79 a pop. Its hardware design sports a latch on the front which will allow one to slide the handset in, and thankfully, it also comes with a controller for navigation purposes.
While the $79 US release has been confirmed, it remains to be seen when other regions such as the UK or Australia will be able to pick up Google Daydream. Sooner is always better than later in this case, although it would not be of much use if the Android 7.0 Nougat smartphones are not available in that particular market, either.
We do know that Google Daydream is part of the OS on the Pixel and Pixel XL, so there would be no questions of incompatibility in this case. What if you prefer to jive with other smartphone manufacturers? Fret not -- Google has confirmed that the likes of Samsung, Huawei, Alcatel, Asus, HTC, LG, Xiaomi and ZTE too, will roll out Daydream-ready smartphones.
Google Daydream will be able to run apps and games which are available on the Play Store. Google claims that by the end of this year, there will be more than 50 apps and games available on Google Daydream -- among them include a Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them tie-in experience in addition to the Star Chart app which provides an avenue for you to explore the solar system simply by looking around -- a personal, portable planetarium, so to speak.
Mobile entertainment will be greatly enriched with Daydream, as Netflix, HBO and Hulu too will roll out Daydream ready apps in the months to come. Google will not neglect its role either as it will ensure that some of its apps will play nice with the Daydream platform: among them include Play Movies, Photos, Maps and YouTube. Are you looking forward to Daydream?