Google killed its secret standalone VR headset project meant to rival Oculus


Google had reportedly been working on a standalone VR headset but has abandoned the project in favor of mobile virtual reality.


According to Recode, around 50 employees had been working on the headset and a bespoke OS, but those plans have now been abandoned in favor of mobile projects like Daydream. We contacted Google for comment.


As a fan of Google hardware, it’s disappointing in one way, but it’s probably the right move. There are already rivals now coming to market with capable systems like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and yet-another OS to maintain and hardware to update would require significant ongoing commitment.

That would, perhaps, be fine, but it’s not entirely scaleable, which probably provided further disincentives. Google’s hardware projects have generally been to show manufacturers what they can or should be doing (think the Pixel Chromebook), but to do that it needs to be leading from the front (as it is in mobile) not playing catchup.