Google’s Daydream platform is the company’s first real, non-cardboard commitment to virtual reality – but there’s a big catch.
It turns out that Google’s Daydream VR ecosystem is unlikely to be supported by any existing Android smartphone. That’s because to be ‘Daydream Ready’, handsets will need to meet a specific set of requirements, due to the demanding nature of virtual reality on a hardware level.
This revelation comes courtesy of Google’s VR chief Clay Bavor, speaking to Road To VR:
“I can tell you that there will most likely not be any ‘retroactively’ Daydream-ready phones. We want to hold a very high quality bar, and for that to happen all the components need to be just right. So, to VR fans, I would say, hold off for a few months to get your next phone and get a Daydream-ready phone.”
Right now, Google is recommending the Nexus 6P – its current flagship handset – for use with the Daydream developer kit, but Bavor’s recent comments seem to suggest even that won’t make the cut for the final Daydream version. It’s more likely that Google’s next Nexus device(s) will be the first to support Daydream proper.
To be ready for Daydream, handsets will need to tick a number of boxes. These include featuring high-performance sensors, high-resolution displays with a fast refresh rate, powerful processors, and Google’s new Android N (Android Nutella, anyone?) operating system.
Daydream is a virtual reality platform developed by Google, first announced at this month’s Google I/O conference. It’s due for official release in Autumn – rumours suggest November – and will include specifications for both software and hardware. It’s a much more fleshed out successor to Google Cardboard, and looks to rival other similar ecosystems like Facebook’s Oculus VR.
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Have you bought – or are you planning to buy – a VR headset? Let us know in the comments.