Two years ago, Google gave up the ghost on its Daydream VR headset, pulled the remaining stock of them from stores, and decided that you could no longer view third-party apps and experiences through the headset using the Daydream app. Now, they’ve gone a step further and killed off the Google Play Store that you would normally find in VR while wearing the headset.
At this time, you can still install VR apps from the regular Google Play Store, launch and even use them as normal (assuming you have a compatible headset), but you won’t be able to put your headset on, open the Daydream app and navigate to the Google Play Store there any longer without getting an error that says “We are sorry, we encountered a problem.” The same message is given if you try to browse for apps in the store via the Daydream app without the headset too, by the way.
According to the Reddit user who provided the above image, Google didn’t exactly give a heads up that this would occur prior to pulling the plug, though the website for Daydream remains operational. Daydream information is housed on Google’s “AR and VR” website. Once the page is pulled, all that will remain is information on ARCore, (i.e. Google Maps Live View) and Google Lens. Many of the company’s VR innovations (Tilt Brush, Poly, Expeditions) are being completely shuttered or open-sourced and it’s becoming increasingly clear that it’s no longer a focus for them.
We may one day see VR make a comeback, however, with Google’s WebXR initiatives taking root with Chrome 88, something we recently discussed. The Daydream headset wasn’t perfect, but it started growing on me as all Google products do right before they “sunset” them (cough Google+ cough cough). It would certainly make for a great piece of hardware to pair with a Chromebook when WebXR finally does become a bigger focus though, so I’m going to hold on to my hardware for now.