Google Shelves High-End VR Product Plan: Report

Google has shut down a project to build a high-end standalone virtual reality platform that would compete with products such as the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, Recode reported, citing sources familiar with the decision.

The Wall Street Journalreported in February that Google was working on both a successor to Cardboard as well as a more advanced self-contained VR platform.

While a self-contained VR product remains a no-show, Google did push ahead in May with the intro of Daydream, an Android-powered VR platform that represents a big leap beyond the company’s work around the Cardboard viewer. Daydream, slated for a fall launch, is being built on top of Android N and, like Cardboard, will require users to pair the headset to compatible smartphones -- that will put it in closer competition with Samsung's Oculus-powered Gear VR platlform. 

Google has also developed a reference design for viewers and controllers for Daydream and is also working on its own mobile VR headset for that platform. On the content front, Google has also announced that YouTube will launch a dedicated VR app.

Recode reasoned that Google’s decision to step back from developing an expensive, high-end VR platform and put more weight behind mobile VR technologies and products stems from broader efforts to “streamline its more ambitious projects.”