Google today confirmed what we’ve long suspected; Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 smartphone will soon support Google’s Daydream mobile VR ecosystem.
The news was announced on-stage at the Google I/O developer conference today. Both the S8 and S8 Plus will get a software update this summer that adds Daydream support. That means you’ll be able to pair the handsets with Daydream Ready headsets like Google’s own Daydream View and the upcoming device from Huawei and then access a wide range of apps available on the platform that utilise a three degrees of freedom (3DOF) motion controller that comes with the headsets.
Normally a new phone supporting Daydream wouldn’t be such a big deal, but Samsung’s Galaxy line is already synonymous with another headset, the Gear VR. Designed by Samsung itself in partnership with Oculus, Gear was the first high-end mobile VR headset to release, launching as an early experimental edition in late 2014. Since then Oculus and Samsung have released multiple iterations of the headset.
In fact, the last update was as early as last month, with a new Gear designed for the S8 and also sporting Samsung and Oculus’ own motion controller that looked largely similar to the Daydream controller with an added trigger. Gear VR is off to a headstart on S8 then, but can Daydream catch up?
LG’s next flagship phone, set to be revealed later this year, will support Daydream too, but we’re a little more interested in those new standalone headsets also announced today.