Between the start of HTC Vive pre-orders, and Microsoft inviting developers to pre-order HoloLens, we’ve totally got virtual reality on the mind today. And while expensive new hardware like those new options may give you a VR experience that’s second to none, you don’t need to break the bank in order to get started, and there are lots of affordably priced Cardboard-compatible viewers out there for you to use with your existing smartphone. Today we see Google doing what it can to more easily connect users with these products, adding a new VR category to the Google Store.
Google already sold users accessories like cases for Nexus phones, chargers, or headphones, and to that list it now adds virtual reality viewers.
Right now, Google only has three such options available to shoppers, ranging from the bare-bones Google Cardboard ($15 a pop, or 2 for $25), to the very portable Goggle Tech C1-Glass VR Viewer (also selling for just $15), to even the Mattel View-Master VR ($30 for starter pack including preview reel).
Sure, you can find cheaper (if not free) Cardboard viewers if you look around, but this move is less about the value and more about seeing Google really embrace VR hardware as a serious part of the Android experience going forward. With rumors already pointing to some new hardware just around the corner, including a new Cardboard-like viewer and a fully self-contained VR headset, we could be about to see that interest really explode.