A report published by The Financial Times suggests that Google is launching a more advanced virtual reality headset later this year, to compete with Gear VR.
With Oculus, Sony, HTC, Valve, and others all throwing their hats into the virtual reality ring, things are getting a bit crowded. Well, if a new rumor stemming from a report by The Financial Times is to be believed, the VR space is soon going to be even more crowded, as Google is reportedly set to launch a new VR headset later this year.
Details on Google’s rumored VR headset remain scarce, but according to the report, it will feature better sensors and lenses than the relatively cheap Google Cardboard. Furthermore, Google’s new VR headset will also boast a solid plastic casing.
So far, it seems like Google’s upcoming VR headset, if it does exist, won’t be meant to compete with the Oculus Rift or Sony’s PlayStation VR headset. On the contrary, Google’s new VR device will most likely be presented as the next step up from Google Cardboard, and will compete directly with the mobile-focused Gear VR headset from Samsung and Oculus. This is solidified by information in the Financial Times report that suggests that Google will be updating its pre-existing VR technology for Android devices alongside the release of its new VR headset.
If these reports are true, Google will stand a pretty good shot at making its VR headset the premiere device for those looking for low-key, smartphone-powered virtual reality experiences. Google’s VR headset will have a significant advantage over the competition, in that it will be compatible with a much wider range of smartphone devices than Gear VR, itself currently only compatible with Samsung Galaxy phones.
Anyone interested in learning more about Google’s rumored VR headset may be able to expect an official announcement as soon as this coming Wednesday. That’s because Google’s vice president of VR, Clay Bavor, will be one of the featured speakers at the Vision VR/AR Summit that is taking place in California from February 10th to the 11th. It’s certainly a possibility that Bavor will use the opportunity to properly unveil Google’s next VR headset during his speech.
If Google’s new VR headset does exist, it would mark one of Google’s most significant ventures into the gaming industry to date. Outside of YouTube video game streaming and the Google Play store, the tech giant has avoided diving too deep into video gaming, with Google choosing not to purchase Twitch last year or build its own video game console. Its potential VR headset could go a long way in making Google an even bigger player in the gaming industry.
Google’s rumored VR headset is set to launch at some point in 2016.