A surprising piece of news arose today, coming from Peter Rojas, regarding Google’s VR endeavors. Apparently, the Mountain View giant is planning to launch a standalone Android VR headset as early as next week, but it won’t be of the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive caliber, rather something more accessible, affordable and basic to demonstrate the VR capabilities of Android games and apps. Although Google themselves haven’t confirmed anything about the rumored Android VR headset, it does seem like it’s about time Google Cardboard got a more modern version.
According to various rumors, the upcoming Android VR headset will be launched sometime next week and it will be less powerful than the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift VR headsets. The headset will be standalone, which means you won’t have to have a phone in order to use it. The Samsung Gear VR as well as Google Cardboard function with smartphones, for examples and while they do offer decent virtual reality experiences, they can’t compete with the capabilities of headsets that work alone or with a PC or console.
What’s interesting is that sources tell us that the Android VR headset Google is planning to introduce will match pixel count and optics when it comes to gaming and video, it won’t have the graphics hardware to be able to offer gaming experiences that users may get from the Oculus Rift, for examples. Nonetheless, launching a standalone VR headset is still a good idea, especially if Google is planning to make this headset affordable. Although this is unconfirmed information, the standalone Android VR headest price is rumored to be below $150, which would be quite interesting and would definitely attract a lot of attention from VR newcomers as well as early adopters.
Google I/O is taking place next week, so if the rumors about Android VR are headset, we’re confident the company will at least offer some demos to showcase the new device. Most likely, the device will be announced at the conference, while release date and availability will be revealed at a later date. What do you think of this idea? If Google makes it affordable, would you get into VR if you’re not already into it?
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