Google CEO Sundar Pichai has revealed that there will be 11 Android smartphones that support Daydream VR on sale by the end of 2017. Pichai made the claim in Alphabet’s recent earnings call, though he didn’t name any names with regards to which upcoming devices would feature compatibility.
Google Daydream is the company’s proprietary VR platform introduced alongside its Daydream View headset last year. Supported phones can be slotted into the headset to act as the viewfinder for VR experiences and games.
It’s a platform still in its infancy, and despite a release last fall, only a handful of handsets that support it. It’s also somewhat behind in terms of apps — Samsung’s “Powered by Oculus” Gear VR platform has more than 700 apps. As of a couple of months ago, Google Daydream had around 150 (Samsung’s store has been around longer, though).
With Facebook, owner of the biggest social network in the world, and Valve, owner of the biggest video game distribution network in the world, also making plays in VR — as well as many, many other companies — Google is going to have to start getting more manufacturers on board if it wants to be on top when the market hits its stride. Don’t forget that we’re still in the first generation of VR headsets like the Daydream View, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift — no matter which device/platform is most successful right now, it could change rapidly.
So, time for some guesses. There are currently five Daydream Ready phones on the market, and these are:
- Google Pixel / Google Pixel XL
- Moto Z / Moto Z Force
- Huawei Mate 9 Pro / Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9
- ZTE Axon 7
- Asus Zenfone AR
This means we’re likely to see six more devices to launch with support, or retroactively receive support, for Daydream before the end of this year. That is, unless Pichai is being a bit naughty and including individual variants in his count, in which case we’d see three new additions (the official Daydream site groups pairs of phones together, just FYI).
Google says that the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will soon support Daydream, which signals that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 8 could include compatibility also. Meanwhile, Google’s upcoming second generation Pixel devices will almost certainly be Daydream compatible.
Then, there have been rumors that the LG V30 would get the VR treatment this year, in addition to the Mate 10 from Huawei.
Rounding things off, Motorola is said to be on the verge of introducing the Moto Z2 and Moto Z2 Force, which, as sequels to previous Daydream-compatible devices, are also likely to support the platform.
To find out more about Google Daydream and what it’s capable of, check out our Daydream View review at the link.