Google has confirmed it’s the end of the road for the Daydream VR platform after the smartphone-based VR headset was removed from the Google Store following this week’s Pixel event.
In a statement, Google said there were too many limitations on smartphone VR to make it a viable long term solution.
In a statement, the company said: We saw a lot of potential in smartphone VR — being able to use the smartphone you carry with you everywhere to power an immersive on-the-go experience. But over time we noticed some clear limitations constraining smartphone VR from being a viable long-term solution. Most notably, asking people to put their phone in a headset and lose access to the apps they use throughout the day causes immense friction.
“There also hasn’t been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we’ve seen decreasing usage over time of the Daydream View headset. So while we are no longer selling Daydream View or supporting Daydream on Pixel 4, the Daydream app and store will remain available for existing users.”
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Google has removed the Daydream View VR headset from is online store, almost certainly signalling the end of the company’s ambitions in the mid-range VR sector.
There was no mention of virtual reality during Tuesday’s Made By Google event, following a similar no-show at Google I/O in May, so it seems highly unlikely a replacement headset is in the offing.
It comes after the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and other recent flagship releases, including Google’s own Pixel 3a range, dropped support for the headset. Google has not commented on the future of the Daydream platform and it’s unclear whether the Pixel 4 range will offer compatibility.
Last month, US TV streaming platform Hulu announced it would no longer offer Daydream support, despite continuing to provide an app for PSVR, Oculus and Microsoft’s Mixed Reality platforms. And, in June, this year, Google pulled its own Play Movies and TV from VR headsets.
Related: Best VR headset 2019
Daydream was initially announced way back in 2016 and billed as an answer to Samsung’s Gear VR range. It was designed to take Google’s own VR ambitions beyond the bare bones Google Carboard platform.
Phone makers were encouraged to get their Android handsets ‘Daydream-ready’ while app makers were forthcoming in offering plenty of content. Another headset followed in 2017 offering a comfier fit, while Lenovo launched a Daydream-compatible headset that didn’t require a smartphone in 2018. Since then we’ve heard very little, and Google, like many others it seems, is now intent on pivoting back towards augmented reality.
Elsewhere today, Google also dropped the first-gen Pixel Buds from its website, which have been replaced by an all-new true wireless incarnation. The Google Clips camera, a nice, but niche idea, is also going the way of the dodo (via Android Police).