DAYDREAM: GOOGLE’S NEW VR HEADSET
Android-based Daydream mobile headset will be compatible with a number of “Daydream ready” smartphones.
Google announced its new virtual reality play—Daydream—at its annual I/O conference in May, and many mobile developers are curious to see how Daydream will affect the way mobile games are played (and created) in the future. The short answer, as with most of the mobile VR speculation in recent years, is that it’s still too soon to tell.
Still, an Android-based Daydream mobile headset that will be compatible with a number of “Daydream ready” smartphones, bundled with a new motion-touch controller, sounds like a step in the right direction for developers—most of whom already create games for Android and Google Play. As a big player in the mobile game space enters the VR space in a more meaningful way, we decided to round up our industry insiders to find out what impact they think Google’s Daydream will have on mobile gamers and developers alike.
Steve Stopps—Co-founder, Team Lumo
It is easy when you are part of the tech industry to get caught up in the hype, but I simply can’t see people sitting on a train with a box on their head. When you combine this with the continuing issue of motion sickness and the emerging research into the long term implications of exposure to VR, I think we are still very much in the R&D phase of the medium.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the work that developers are doing now is vital for future development. I have also seen the excitement that VR elicits at trade and consumer shows. I do not doubt it will be a big part of our future—just not in the way that many people seem to think.
Sam Watts—Game Producer, Make Real
What Google Daydream VR is poised to do is to provide a standardized set of tools and input hardware available across the whole ecosystem that will give developers a clear set of guidelines and parameters to operate and create within, with a defined end-user set of hardware capabilities available.
Combine this with a curated store to ensure only the best and easily discoverable applications are available to the consumers of mobile VR within that marketplace, and Google will be able to guarantee that applications will work with their devices—and, more importantly, that the VR medium as a whole won’t be damaged by poor experiences and negative reviews.
Dan Walters—Co-creator, Calvino Noir
Mobile gamers will certainly tell you they want VR, but much of the mobile gaming industry is nervous that players will fail to follow through and buy in. Any VR tech, including Daydream, is something I would love to show to my friends, and as a developer, play with and experiment with. But do I want to use it regularly and habitually? No, using a normal screen is so much more convenient. I think players need it to be a habitual thing for it to be worth the investment.
Lisa Walkosz-Migliacio—Designer, Intropy Games
Mobile game VR to me is where the VR medium goes mainstream, but instead of a typical game with a controller, I want to see more exploration into new worlds and applications for things we haven’t even thought of yet.
I’m still wary about any controller for VR, as I can tell they won’t be as intuitive as designers think. I remember my experience developing games with the Apple TV remote, and it becomes a burden in development because its uses are so pigeonholed. Instead of controllers or remotes, I would love to see more haptic gloves, voice activation, or eye tracking as the way to have input into VR as we go forward.