Google is dropping Daydream VR support on Pixel 4 and killing the headset

Google Daydream View VR headset
Google Daydream View VR headset (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Daydream VR is (or was) Google's platform for pushing virtual reality content using just smartphones.
  • The company's Pixel 4 series does not support the platform.
  • Google's first-party Daydream View headset has also been discontinued.

Google has all but abandoned Daydream VR, it seems. After dropping support for the platform on the Pixel 3a earlier in the year, the company has now confirmed its newest flagships, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, won't feature Daydream compatibility either. This is in stark contrast to the last Pixel flagship, which was "Built for VR to work with Google Daydream View headset."

On the subject of the Daydream View headset, it's also interesting to note that the company has stopped selling the device in its store. Navigate to the headset's store listing, and you're met with a large 'No longer available' banner that signifies the final nail in the nascent VR platform's coffin.

In a statement (via VentureBeat), the company pointed to the "clear limitations constraining smartphone VR from being a viable long-term solution" as part of the reasoning behind the move. The company does have a silver lining for current users of the platform:

There also hasn't been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we've seen decreasing usage over time of the Daydream View headset. So while we are no longer selling Daydream View or supporting Daydream on Pixel 4, the Daydream app and store will remain available for existing users.

So, what's next for Google? Apparently, AR's all the rage at Palo Alto these days, with the company throwing its full weight behind its ARCore platform. You can also count the number of times it mentions AR in the conclusion of its statement to get an idea of where the company believes the future of digital experiences is headed:

We're investing heavily in helpful AR experiences like Google Lens, AR walking navigation in Maps, and AR in Search that use the smartphone camera to bridge the digital and physical worlds, helping people do more with what they see and learn about the world around them.

The change has, in fairness, been long in the making. Third-party vendors, like Hulu, have been dropping support for the platform in recent months and Google itself had pulled its Movies & TV app from Daydream. Alas, we will be daydreaming no more — at least, not in a high-tech virtual reality.

Muhammad Jarir Kanji