In context: Phone-based VR systems were initially quite appealing due to their approachable price tags and ease of setup -- activating a Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream headset was as simple as plugging your smartphone in and strapping the rig to your face. No cords, no sensors, no mess.
Unfortunately, it seems the idea is no longer profitable enough for one headset maker. According to reports, Google has decided to shut down its Daydream VR platform. As a result, its Daydream View headsets are no longer available for purchase, and new Pixel devices will not ship with support for the technology.
The writing has been on the wall for Daydream for a few months now -- Hulu dropped support for the VR platform last month, and Google itself began removing functionality from Daydream in June.
Google's decision is not arbitrary. The company says low adoption rates among consumers and developers, as well as decreased usage from those who did buy into the platform, are the primary reasons for Daydream's end.
In the end, it seems smartphone VR -- or at least, Google's implementation of it -- was simply too clunky for the average consumer to use over a long-term period. While operating a device like the Daydream View, you are effectively blocked from using your smartphone for anything else. To comfortably browse the web or make a call, you'd have to take the headset off, unseat your phone, and then reverse the process when you're ready to dive back in. That's far from ideal.
Those who already have a Daydream View device (as well as a supported smartphone) can continue to use the gadget for as long as they'd like. The Daydream app and storefront will also continue to operate as normal; at least for now. You just won't be able to buy a replacement headset if something goes wrong with your current one.
If you're absolutely desperate to get your hands on the now-obsolete tech, there are a few Daydream View units for sale on Amazon through third-party sellers. Even if the platform has lost Google's support, Daydream VR can still be a fun novelty. So, it might be worth keeping those store listings in mind if prices for remaining stock creep down into the $20-$35 range.