Google is now officially selling the Google Daydream View VR headset. It’s available from the Google Play Store or Verizon Wireless for $79.
Folks who pre-ordered the Google Pixel may have been part of the initial promotion program that nets a free Google Daydream View VR headset, however, so you may want to check if you already have a free one coming.
And speaking of the Google Pixel, that’s the only smartphone that officially supports the Daydream View. Google has suggested this is because some smartphones require additional sensors to work properly with the virtual reality headset. That means there’s a fairly small base of possible users for the Google Daydream View.
By comparison, Google’s simpler Cardboard VR platform supports all sorts of Android smartphones, though doesn’t offer as immersive as an experience. Cardboard also doesn’t offer a central piece of software that allows you to move and select different VR applications. Daydream View, conversely, can serve as a portal to VR content.
Gear VR or Daydream View?
The Daydream View is set to ship in 2-3 weeks when we’ll be able to test just how well it stacks up against its nearest competition, the Samsung Gear VR. Samsung, which partnered with Oculus, has a big head start on Google. There are already thousands of applications available for the platform and several Galaxy smartphones are already supported.
As a Gear VR owner myself, I know that Google has big shoes to fill. Gear VR offers an incredibly impressive experience for Galaxy owners and, like the Daydream View, isn’t as expensive as other virtual reality systems.
Google is banking on its device being more comfortable, however, and offering unique functions like a wireless setup. Users need only drop their smartphone inside the headset to get started with the Daydream View; on Gear VR, a user needs to plug his or her smartphone into the headset.
I expect that the Daydream View’s app selection will increase drastically in the coming months when I also hope new Daydream View VR-compatible smartphones are unveiled. If you have a Pixel on the way, jump to the source to grab yours.