It’s often hard to make heads or tails of rumors pertaining to upcoming software and hardware launches by Google, since the search giant is particularly secretive about its plans, not to mention crafty for bogus intel, and always capable of changing product roadmaps at the last minute.
But you had to be a fool to think there was no truth to VR development gossip, with Samsung, Oculus, HTC and Sony so very serious about moving the technology forward today, and nearly two years after the initial launch of the Cardboard platform.
It can’t be a coincidence the super-basic, super-cheap virtual reality viewers have spread to four new Google Stores the week before the I/O conference either, and indeed, a dependable, well-connected tipster claims “Android VR will definitely be announced” between May 18 and 20.
The name suggests this is the ultimate mobile-enabled VR headset, and Peter Rojas, the co-founder of Gizmodo and Engadget, had “multiple sources” telling him that it “offers better experience than Gear VR.” Most likely not as good as the Rift and Vive, though, since you can’t beat the brains and guts of a solid gaming PC.
Its killer feature and top selling point could be self-reliance, which would however complicate the production process and increase retail pricing. Then again, it’s Google we’re talking about here, the company behind such low-cost hits as the Nexus 5 and 5X, so maybe the Android VR will be the best of both all worlds. Highly immersive, relatively cheap and standalone, not requiring the processing power or display of an always-connected phone.
Sounds too good to be true? With any luck, we’ll find out in a week or so.