Google may release an Android-powered VR headset next week at I/O

Google may release an Android-powered VR headset next week at I/O

If an Oculus or HTC Vive is too expensive, but you still want a great VR experience, Google may be releasing a standalone Android-powered VR headset next week during Google I/O.

The news comes via Peter Rojas, who tweeted that this headset will be “less powerful” than a Vive or Rift, but won’t require a phone to power it along like the Gear VR.

It’s a timely move from Google, who’ve always appeared quite serious about VR. The problem with its Cardboard headset is that it’s really only good for viewing media; there’s not much interaction you can have whilst holding the headset to your face.

Google Cardboard
Credit: Google

And if Google wants developers to consider VR seriously, it has to offer more than a cheap cardboard housing for a device. Otherwise, it risks losing ground to the Oculus-powered Gear VR, which is powered by an Android phone (the irony!).

Naturally, the pricing will be important. While the Gear VR costs a mere $99, it needs a $650 phone to power it along. If Google can maneuver its headset into the $300 price range, it could mean great things for entry-level VR, especially with gaming, which is Android’s bread-and-butter.

Luckily, we’ve only got a week or so to know if this is true or just chatter.

via TechCrunch

Read next: Report: Google has an Amazon Echo competitor coming named 'Chirp'

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