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Rude Awakening: Google Quietly Says Goodbye to Daydream VR

(Image credit: Piotr Swat/Shutterstock)

Google announced the new Pixel 4 smartphone yesterday. The company revealed plenty of information about the device: it features a new camera system, updated Google Assistant and other improvements over the Pixel 3. But one thing Google's flagship smartphone won't have, according to Variety, is support for Daydream VR. It turns out that's because Google is quietly killing the Daydream VR platform--or at least taking it off life support. 

The company will no longer sell its Daydream View VR headset and has already pulled it from the Google Store. Lenovo's Mirage Solo standalone Daydream VR headset is also unavailable. That leaves the Daydream market empty (or should we say even emptier?).

But it's not like Daydream was ever truly successful. HTC canceled its standalone Daydream headset--which was supposed to be the first to market--in 2017. Lenovo released its Mirage Solo, then Google updated the Daydream View headset and then... nothing.

Google confirmed that Daydream wasn't as popular as it would've liked 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," a spokesperson said. 

Other companies will continue to chase standalone VR. The HTC Vive Focus Plus is HTC's first standalone room-scale VR headset and came out earlier this year. Oculus has already released the standalone Oculus Go and Oculus Quest headsets. Smaller companies have also worked on similar devices.

So now Daydream will be a forgotten dream. We expect it's only a matter of time until Google also takes down its app store and ends support for the Daydream View headsets it's already sold. Eventually, the last smartphones to support Daydream will find their way into junk drawers and recycling centers. By then Daydream will be nothing but a, well, you know...daydream.