Phone-based VR may be heading to an early grave, as Google ceases production of its Daydream View virtual reality headsets and the BBC disbands its virtual reality team.
Google’s upcoming phones, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, are set to ship without support for the Daydream. The company will also discontinue Daydream production and sales, but will continue to offer support for anyone who has a headset and isn’t willing to give it up just yet.
A spokesperson for Google issued the following statement to Variety:
“There 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.”
“We saw a lot of potential in smartphone VR—being able to use the smartphone you carry with you everywhere to power an immersive on-the-go experience, but over time we noticed some clear limitations constraining smartphone VR from being a viable long-term solution.”
“Most notably, asking people to put their phone in a headset and lose access to the apps they use throughout the day causes immense friction.”
Meanwhile, in VR related news, the BBC has announced in a blog post that it’s officially shutting down its VR Hub. The BBC VR Hub has a final project called Missing Pictures to release before wrapping up its commissioning and production work for good.
However, the BBC has said that this isn’t the end of the company’s focus on VR, and it will “continue to identify audience opportunities for VR” as well as licensing its existing projects.