Google has announced that they're ending their VR headset and program, Google Daydream, after being on market for three years.
Google dipped a toe into the mobile VR ring in 2014 with Google Cardboard, but ultimately it was just a $25 piece of cardboard that held up your phone to your face and provided limited gameplay. However, the project was successful, and in 2016 it was followed up with Google Daydream, a VR platform. Google also made a headset, the Google Daydream View, to go with this. It seems that Google Daydream never really caught on though, and the program is coming to an end.
The news was originally suspected on Tuesday when Google showed off their Pixel 4 phone, and it was discovered that it wasn't compatible with Google Daydream. The following day Google confirmed the news to Variety that they were ending the Daydream program, and would no longer be producing View headsets. They also said that they won't be shutting the store down and will still support the program for existing users, just there are no plans to continue adding to it.
A Google spokesperson told Variety the following via e-mail about the reasons for ending the program:
There 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 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.
While Google Daydream may be dead, Google is still looking to step into the gaming ring with its upcoming streaming platform Google Stadia.
Are you bummed that Google is ending Daydream? Have you never used the program? Happy it's over? Let us know in the comments below!