What makes Google Daydream a good VR platform compared to today’s mobile VR systems? From my understanding, it’s just another cross-device mobile platform with a range of headsets that will run on Daydream-ready Android N devices. I know it poses a thread to Gear VR because it works on a wide range of devices, but can it really can contribute to make the whole VR experience much better than Gear VR?
As you mentioned, it’s a platform. Google partnered with mobile phone manufacturers to make Daydream-ready phones.Furthermore, the VR mode is an integral part of the Android N operating system and of course, there are the headsets, that we can expect to have several manufacturers making Daydream-compatible headsets, not just Google.
Google has full control of all the aspects of the platform development, the same that Apple does with its mobile devices. This allows Google to bring consumers a higher quality VR experience. You won’t be able to run Daydream games on old devices. The platform requires a phone with strong computing power that can run the games with high-quality visuals and fast frame-rates.
Second, developers will know ahead of time what system requirements they target their game for and optimize their games accordingly. It’s more or less the same as consoles, the games are optimized for a specific platform, so you won’t need to worry what CPU or GPU your phone has, as long as it’s Daydream-ready, games will work as the developer planned them to work.
Third, Google can add many more features to the software like adding more social features for example. It has full control over the software, so you’ll see frequent software updates and optimizations happening quite frequently. Again, you don’t need to worry about anything, the software will update itself (or automatically, I don’t know) and you enjoy the new features straight away.
Another advantage is for hardware upgrades. Daydream is a mobile VR platform that was designed to work with certified Google daydream smartphones. In time, Google might decide to release a future version of its platform, and all it needs to do is to decide on new minimum hardware requirements and just let developers know about it, so they can target the new hardware specifications with their games. If you want to enjoy the new version of the platform, all you need to do is to purchase a new phone, which is what many people do anyway after a few years. The first entry it a bit more complicated, because consumers need to buy a Daydream-ready phone to enjoy the mobile VR experience that Google wants you to have, but as time goes buy, Google will adapt to the market and release an upgraded platform that is more aligned with what people can afford. After all, Google wants everyone to use its mobile VR platform, but it’s unlike Google Cardboard which is very cheap and everyone can afford buying it, Google Daydream requires a more powerful hardware.
I’m sure that Google Daydream will become the most popular mobile VR platform on the market. As for now, Samsung has a monopoly on the high-end mobile VR market and Google wants to bring the same (or even better) experience, but more unified and supervised…
I’m sure that Google has many surprises under its sleeves, and I’m eagerly waiting to see what games developers have been working on when they introduce some of their games in the new Gaming Festival in September.
I’ve read that Google will be releasing its own branded Daydream headset, but I still don’t see any real advantage over Gear VR when it comes to providing a marginal better gaming experience, Gear VR runs on very powerful devices and there are many games developed to take advantage of that. So this is just competing against Samsung in its own game, not really coming up with something marginally better.
You know, with all the billions that Google has, I can understand why it didn’t try to compete in the non-mobile VR market and let Facebook and HTC so easily eat the cake.
Mobile VR is going to be much more popular than the console and desktop VR market. I’ve seen some a pie chart somewhere, and Google definitely sees a huge potential in the mobile VR industry, especially considering that it has the most popular mobile operating system in the world. It can make it even more popular if it can provide consumers with even better mobile gaming experience (not just games of course).
Google seemed to focus more on the software side, less on the hardware. They let other manufacturers develop the hardware so they can spread its software to the masses. In the future, everything will be mobile, and Google knows and puts its effort on the mobile industry.