Google is set to launch Daydream VR sometime “in the coming weeks,” according to Bloomberg, after laying the groundwork for its launch with the official debut of Android 7.0 this week. The new report says Google is investing big in original content to accompany the launch of its VR platform, which will be built-in to upcoming Android smartphone handsets that meet the recommended specs and run Android 7.0, working together with Cardboard-like headsets and new controller hardware.
Daydream first broke cover at Google’s I/O developer conference this year in May. Google’s plans for Daydream include building a recommended spec for Android OEMs to follow in order to provide support for the platform, which will otherwise be baked right into Android 7.0 (aka Nougat), the latest version of is mobile OS. Daydream comes with a home launcher, and a storefront designed for custom-created VR content. At I/O, it announced NYT, WSJ and CNN as launch partners, as well as Hulu, Netflix, HBO, IMAX Ubisoft and EA.
Bloomberg says that Hulu will also be on board at launch, with production assistance furnished by Google for original 360-degree content from YouTube personalities including Justine Ezarik and the Dolan twins. Leveraging its stable of YouTube celebrities is a smart move for Google, since it could help Google’s more dictated VR platform efforts skip ahead in the content race, with entertainment offerings that might appeal more broadly than games, the bread-and-butter of PC platforms like HTC Vive and Oculus.
Google’s efforts will still stick to more modest projects early on, according to the report, and don’t yet range into multi-million dollar blockbuster budget territory. The money is also being offered free of strings, apparently, since Google is looking to drive consumer interest more than it’s concerned about taking an ownership cut of the projects for itself.
Daydream will launch around the same time as new Android phones, as well as VR headsets and controllers. This likely means we’ll see it make its official debut along with new Nexus phone hardware, which is likely to break cover sometime this fall.