3 Reasons you're right to be excited about Google Daydream

Get hyped, hypothetical person who is keen as hell for the Daydream

3 Reasons you're right to be excited about Google Daydream

Let's talk about you for a minute. You're a fictional construct, designed to help me frame this list in a way that's more interesting. Thanks buddy. You watched the Google I/O keynote yesterday, and at the announcement of Google Daydream, you got a shiver.

Could this be the VR device you're looking for? Perhaps. Google's newly announced headset could mean big things - both this, and their renewed commitment to VR, is incredibly exciting.

The Daydream looks like it's going to slot comfortably into the gap between other mobile efforts like the Samsung Gear VR and the more top-end headsets, like the Oculus Rift, that need a hideously expensive PC.

It's native to Android

For phones that can handle it, Google's going to be baking a feature into Android N (don't get me started on that name) called Android VR Mode. This VR Mode has some tweaks and optimizations that will improve VR performance, but it'll also double as an ecosystem and navigation mode.

A Daydream home screen will let you access apps and content, including special VR versions of popular google apps like Youtube, Play Movies, Street View and Google Photos. All of this optimised to work natively with all Android smartphones.

You won't need to use a Samsung smartphone (but you can if you want)

I love my Gear VR, but it sits largely in a drawer because I don't like the Samsung S6. This limits the time I can use the Gear, and it also means I have to keep an extra phone around. It's a nice problem to have too many phones, but it's unrealistic for the majority of people.

Google has announced they'll be working with 8 hardware partners tin creating Daydream-ready phones. The eight are all heavyweights: Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, and Alcatel. There's likely to be a few more partners signing up in the next few months, meaning that whatever phone you fancy, you should be covered.

That controller

Daydream comes with a standardised controller, something not a million miles away from a Wiimote for VR. It looks a bit sleeker of course, and contains a clickable touchpad on one end, and two separate buttons.

It has an orientation sensor that can detect which way you're pointing it, and while it doesn’t have positional tracking, it will allow you to make motions with your hands - flipping a pancake perhaps, or flicking a magic wand.

This controller being standardised means good things for Daydream because developers will be able to design with this in mind.

While the Samsung Gear VR might have its bluetooth controller add-on, one of the problems of making games for the system is that you can’t assume that every user has one.

A level playing field in terms of the hardware each user has should open Daydream up to some really interesting gaming experiences.