Daydream’s Success in VR Hinges on Consumers Massively Buying New Flagship Phones This Year

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Google is betting rather big on virtual reality. The company will bring a new standalone VR headset to market at some point in the near future. That is not the only card the company is playing, though. The Daydream software will receive a major overhaul for the next update, and tens of millions of Daydream-ready devices will come to market by the end of 2017. All of these goals are incredibly ambitious, to say the least.

Daydream Will Bring More Consumers To VR

For the time being, it is not exactly easy to convince people on the street about the merits of virtual reality. The content is lackluster and low quality HMDs are rather pricey. Additionally, building a powerful computer is not a cheap endeavor by any means. Google feels they can change all that, mainly due to their venture into the world of virtual reality. Daydream was first released late last year and saw some initial successes.

However, the company is now looking to the future, and Daydream 2.0 is a big part of that plan. The update of this platform will – apparently – bring more people to virtual reality than any other HMD can do. Additionally, Daydream Director of product Management Mike Jazayeri feels there will be tens of millions Daydream-capable devices in the market later this year. It is a bit unclear how the company plans to ensure this will happen, though.

To be more specific there are just eight Daydream-ready devices on the market today. However, flagship mobile devices from LG, Samsung, and others will enable VR support in the near future. Even the Samsung S8 and S8+ will fall into this category, despite neither device being a major upgrade for S6 or S7 users. Most people who already own a smartphone that is not the “latest gen” will still be left out, unfortunately.

All of these plans hinge on new devices coming to market and consumers buying them. If these mobile phones offer much-improved hardware, that may happen. However, just the promise of running Daydream will not necessarily persuade too many people. Flagship phones are not getting any cheaper these days, and one could build a VR-capable computer for the same amount of money if you know where to look for parts. The biggest difference may be how Daydream can perhaps provide higher quality VR experiences, although that remains to be seen.

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