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Google puts headsets on hold as it focuses on VR software

Google is deep in R&D on its next hardware project
Google puts headsets on hold as it focuses on VR software

Google is pushing software over hardware in its virtual reality plans for 2019.

Ahead of yesterday’s Google 2019 I/O keynote, the firm told CNet that it was pivoting its VR efforts towards services and software over any new hardware.

While last year saw Google collaborate with Lenovo on the Mirage, there are no plans for further Daydream hardware developments for the rest of this year.

"On the VR front, our focus right now is much more on services and the bright spots where we see VR being really useful," said Google's VR/AR head Clay Bavor.

These plans involve pushing new software to the competing Oculus Quest and pouring more resources into existing services and subsidiary developers to push VR as a medium.

"Tilt Brush we announced is coming to Oculus Quest, which we're excited about," said Bavor. "YouTube VR has more than a million VR videos on it, the largest repository of VR media. Owlchemy, which we own, makes Job Simulator and Vacation Simulator: VR gaming is promising."

What’s next?

Google isn’t leaving hardware hanging, however. It might be a while before we need a new product, but more hardware is coming - and Google is being awfully cryptic about what form its next device will take.

Bavor added: "On the hardware devices side, we're much more in a mode of R&D and thoughtfully building the LEGO bricks that we're going to need in order to snap together and make some really compelling experiences.

“If you can dream it, we probably have a prototype of it somewhere in one of our labs."