Today at Google I/O, Google’s Clay Bavor, Vice President of Virtual Reality, was on stage to talk about the unveiling of not only Android N, the latest version of their flagship mobile operating system, but also Daydream, the platform they’ve designed as an integral part of Android N that’s specifically optimized to support virtual reality. In addition to having certain phone and headset specifications, as well as a custom remote designed for Daydream specifically, Google have also teased and announced a slew of content partnerships that will help make Daydream competitive with the likes of Oculus, Steam, and others.
During the demonstration, we saw a short glimpse of Daydream Home, Google’s answer to the attractive and intuitive Oculus Home interface, which is coming soon to Gear VR. Part of the demonstration also included a custom remote, that looks an awful lot like the Oculus Touch controller. However, the Daydream controller also featured motion detection support as well, allowing for rudimentary motion-based interactions inside of VR, instead of just pointing and clicking.
Daydream Home featured Playground and a previously unannounced title, Gunjack Next. No further information is known about the latter, other than what CCP told us, but the former appears to be a compilation of short experiences showing off the power of the Daydream controller.
After showing off Daydream Home, Bavor went back to the slideshow to announce a slew of upcoming partnerships with gaming labels, chief among them being Electronic Arts and Ubisoft. Yesterday, we reported on EA establishing a new internal team, Frostbite Labs, to specifically focus on VR and other future tech, so this partnership should come as no surprise. The reel included an image of what appeared to be a Need for Speed No Limits VR game on display inside Daydream Home. Ubisoft also makes sense given their support of Eagle Flight, an Oculus Rift game coming later this year.
Also listed were Turbo Button, NetEase Games, OtherSide Entertainment, MinorityVR, Resolution, CCP, nDreams, and Climax Studios. Between all of those companies are games like EVE: Valkyrie, EVE: Gunjack, Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games, Time Machine VR, The Assembly, and many others. What their involvement with Daydream means exactly remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Google waited on announcing anything until they were absolutely ready.
We will add more details to this article as the story develops.