Google wants to make ‘Daydream’ the platform for mobile VR - and it starts out strong. Daydream now has VR apps from Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and Next VR to name some as well as games such as LEGO and Need for Speed.
Most of the big names
There is the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Samsung Gear VR. However, none of them have the same extensive line-up of video apps that Google’s Daydream launches with.
YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Littlestar, Jaunt VR, Within, and Hulu arrived in November. And this month, Netflix, HBO Now, HBO Go, and NextVR have been added to the catalog.
Netflix takes you into a cozy living room where you sit in a sofa front of a large-screen TV. To be clear, Netflix is not offering any actual VR content. You can instead watch the full Netflix catalog on the flat simulated TV inside the virtual surroundings seen above.
HBO has designed its two apps – HBO Now and HBO Go – more like a home cinema environment. You sit in large leather chairs and watch the latest episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ on a big canvas. Again, it is not actual VR content; only the environment is virtual.
NextVR offers true VR content (and simpler 360-degree videos) in the form of sports, concerts, and certain live streams.
Amazon has yet to launch a VR app on any platform.
Besides the new video apps, there is a bunch of new games, including LEGO BrickHeadz Builder VR, Gunjack 2: End of Shift, Layers of Fear: Solitude, Wands, Underworld Overlord, and Need for Speed No Limits VR.
The best VR platform for video?
This is a very strong start for Google Daydream and the company’s ambitions to create a full virtual reality ecosystem. Besides the Daydream software platform, Google has the Daydream View headset.
Notably, few of these apps are available on other platforms. Netflix and NextVR for example are only available on Samsung Gear VR, not even Oculus Rift. HBO is an exclusive to Daydream. So are the YouTube and ‘Google Play Movies & TV’ VR apps.
Google announced the Daydream platform in May 2016 along with a “Daydream Ready” certification program for phones. In October 2016, Google unveiled the Daydream View VR headset. It is a mobile VR headset that you slide a phone into.