Google quietly discontinues Daydream VR
Google announced a lot of new products today at the 2019 edition of Made by Google. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are obviously the headliners, but we also saw the Pixelbook Go, Nest Mini, Nest WiFi, and Pixel Buds. One area that did not receive much love was VR. In fact, the Pixel 4 does not support Google’s Daydream VR platform. The company has quietly discontinued Daydream and its accessories.
VentureBeat discovered that Daydream VR was not mentioned on the Pixel 4’s specification sheet. Unlike last year’s Pixel 3, the Pixel 4 is only listed to support ARCore. Not only do the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL not support Daydream VR, but Google also stopped selling the Daydream View headset. Google has no plans to support Daydream in future Android devices and they will not be certifying new devices.
A Google spokesperson shared the following statement:
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.
We’re investing heavily in helpful AR experiences like Google Lens, AR walking navigation in Maps, and AR in Search that use the smartphone camera to bridge the digital and physical worlds, helping people do more with what they see and learn about the world around them.
Google jumped into VR headfirst when they released the popular “Google Cardboard” app and affordable headsets. But Daydream and the pricier and more advanced accessories never took off. Mobile VR has been slowly dying as even Samsung doesn’t do much with Gear VR anymore. The Pixel 4 won’t be used as a VR device and that’s probably not disappointing to a ton of people.
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