Google Daydream View has arrived to disrupt the peaceful and unchallenged reign of the Samsung Gear VR which has been sitting on top of the high-end mobile VR food chain since its release in 2015.
The Daydream VR headset is up for pre-order now from the Google Store, or Verizon or Carphone Warehouse depending which side of the Atlantic you’re on. The Daydream price is $79 USD or £69 GBP and it should land on your door step November 15th.
Virtual reality has been in the news and all over billboards big time over the last 8 days since the release of the Playstation VR, so whether they meant i or not Google have done a good job in timing the announcement of the Daydream release.. While the news is good and all that.
The most noticeable thing that makes the Daydream headset standout is the fabric exterior. There’s no doubt the soft cloth look is more appealing than its plastic counterparts and will make a better friend to your face.
There are no controls on the side of the Daydream headset like you find on the Gear VR. Instead it ships with a small touchpad controller that allows you to swing a bat, steer a spaceship, write your name, stroke a dog, and whatever else is conjured by the imagination of developers.
Daydream fits over most prescription glasses and the face pad can be easily hand-washed so you can keep it fresh. It wirelessly connects with your smartphone and has an automatic alignment feature which makes sharp work of getting things in the right place for your VR session.
Compared to the Samsung Gear VR which is powered by the Oculus Store, the Daydream has some catching up to do in terms of apps and games. But if it takes off at anything like the rate of Google Cardboard you won’t be left wanting for long.
For starters, Daydream View will be compatible with Youtube 360, Google Play Movies, apps from Netflix and HBO; plus a titles such as Action Bowling, Wonderglade, and J.K Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Also compatible, and the thing I’m looking forward to, is Google Earth’s Street View, which is also available for Cardboard but there’s no doubt that using it with Daydream will be a superior virtual reality travel experience.
Daydream is nowhere near as versatile as its Cardboard primate in terms of compatible phones. At the moment, the only official Daydream-ready phone is the new Google Pixel (both the 5 and 5.5-inch versions) which runs Android Nougat, whereas Cardboard works with tons of phones. Of course, more Daydream-ready phones will be coming.