Apparently happy with the consumer response to its inexpensive Cardboard virtual reality viewer, Google is reportedly pushing ahead with a next-gen, self-contained VR headset that won’t require users to pair it to a smartphone, game console, or a high-octane PC.
Google, which recently tapped company vet Clay Bavor to head up its VR team, is also preparing to release a more advanced version of its entry-level Cardboard viewer later this year that will be made of plastic, but will still need to be paired to a smartphone, according to The Wall Street Journal. That offering, The Financial Times reported earlier, will be similar to the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR headset, which is compatible with certain Samsung smartphone models (here’s our review of that platform).
But Google’s purported plans for a self-contained offering would seemingly take aim at high-end VR platforms such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, which will be required to be linked to powerful PCs. An Oculus Rift bundle is available for preorder starting at $599 and will start shipping in the spring; preorders for the HTC Vive are expected to begin on February 29. Sony, meanwhile, is expected to launch the PlayStation VR, a headset that will work in tandem with the popular PlayStation 4 gaming console, later this year.