Google has effectively abandoned Daydream just as it was getting ready to reveal the launch date of Stadia, its latest gaming platform.
Google’s Pixel 4 event took place yesterday. The annual event revealed a number of new Pixel 4 devices, and a launch date for Stadia, the company’s game streaming platform.
Quietly, Google also discontinued Daydream, telling Variety it will no longer sell Daydream View VR headsets, and confirming that Pixel 4 phones will not support Daydream.
Daydream launched in late 2016 as an evolution of Google Cardboard, the company’s previous attempt at a low-cost, easily accessible VR headset. Similar to Samsung’s Gear VR, Daydream View relied on the screen and the processing power of your smartphone to function. Across two generations, View support was added to Pixel phones as well as others from top Android manufactures like Samsung, and Huawei.
Google said it will continue to support the app for existing users, but that’s about what you’d expect from a service being sunset. Although the Daydream platform wasn’t strictly made for gaming, VR games were among its biggest selling points.
Since Google never had its own gaming platform, Daydream was the closest the company got to having one. The news itself isn’t completely surprising, content creators like HBO and Hulu have been pulling out for a while now, and many 2019 phones do not support Daydream.
It is, however, worth keeping that in mind as we approach the beginning of Google’s latest gaming venture: Stadia. The streaming service is obviously larger in concept, investment and footprint than a low-cost VR platform, but the potential for it to one day join the graveyard doesn’t seem all that far-fetched.
Nobody wants a new gaming platform to fail, but Google’s history is full of products and services the company – and many of us – thought would bring competition to leaders in their field, but ended up flopping.
Consider this: YouTube Gaming, Google’s answer to Twitch, had the potential to – if not dethrone Twitch – cause a significant enough dent in its share of the live streaming business. What better company than the one running the world’s biggest video streaming platform to take on Twitch? The answer is, apparently, not Google.