It’s less than half the price of Samsung’s Gear VR.
Google slashed the asking price of its Daydream View virtual reality headset to $49 this week in a bid to encourage more VR newbies to strap on the comfortable gateway to virtual worlds.
The new price, a limited-time discount from the original $79 that ends Feb. 25, is half of what Samsung charges for its comparable Gear VR headset. With Daydream, you get a viewer that vaguely resembles sweatpants for your face: it’s made of light gray, dark gray, or red jersey fabric, an aesthetic that evokes a lazy Sunday spent lounging around the house. Like your loungewear, its removable facepad can be washed after each use.
Although the new $49 price point seems attractive at first glance, don’t forget that the Daydream ecosystem is very small at this point, from the number of phones capable of running the Daydream app to the games and other content that appear on it. Other than its own Pixel and Pixel XL, Google doesn’t specify exactly which phones are compatible. And PCMag found the actual VR experiences to be lacking—the most fun is a cinema app, which lets you experience your Google Play movies on a giant virtual screen.
The Gear VR, meanwhile, has been around significantly longer than the Daydream View, and its Oculus-powered app store has dozens of games, videos, and other experiences to download. Like Daydream, it requires a compatible smartphone, such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S7.
At $49, the Daydream View is almost an impulse buy for Pixel owners, especially if you’ve recently shelled out $649 upfront for the unlocked version. And you can be sure that if Google is willing to invest in a price cut, it is also committed to boosting Daydream-compatible content.