Google’s Daydream is about to become a reality for consumers.
The company on Tuesday said its new Daydream virtual reality (VR) headset is slated to hit shelves in five countries next week, just ahead of the holiday rush.
Starting November 10, Google said Daydream View will be available in the United States for $79 at Best Buy and Verizon, the company’s exclusive carrier partner for its new Pixel smartphone. Daydream View will also be available in Canada at Bell, Rogers, Telus, and Best Buy; the United Kingdom at EE and Carphone Warehouse; Germany at Deutsche Telekom; and Australia at Telstra and JB Hi-Fi.
Unlike wired VR headsets, Daydream View is designed to be used with a Daydream-compatible phone, like Google’s Pixel. The flip-down smartphone slot on the fabric headset allows users to make their VR experience mobile, and a stowaway remote provides “precise” interactive capabilities, Google said.
Though doubts have surfaced about the availability of sufficient VR content for the new headset, Google on Tuesday said a number of experiences will be made available on Daydream in the coming weeks. Promised content includes Hulu VR, where users can stream Hulu’s library of TV shows, movies, and VR content, and YouTube VR where they can watch YouTube videos on a virtual big screen and also access VR videos. Additional content and providers in the lineup include Google Play Movies, Google Street View, Baobab Studios, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and a range of gaming options.
While the Pixel is currently the only smartphone that is Daydream compatible, Google is working to change that – and soon.
According to a post on the Android Developers Blog, support for Daydream is being baked into the Android 7.1 release slated for early December on the Nexus 6, 5X, 6P, Player, Pixel C, and other supported Android One devices.
For those who want the Daydream experience now, the Pixel can be picked up in the United States from Verizon or unlocked online in Google’s store. Wireless carriers Verizon and T-Mobile are currently battling for Pixel customers with bill credit promotions offering to refund around half the cost of the device.