The drawn-out death of VR on Android is now more or less complete as the Google Store has ceased selling its Google Cardboard DIY VR goggles.
Mobile VR solutions are not truly dead, but after Android 11 officially dropped support for the Daydream platform in late 2020, it looked like time had finally run out. However, the Google Store still listed official Google Cardboard VR goggles for sale.
Google has now though finally stopped selling the cardboard headsets some five years after first going on sale and seven years after being announced. Android Police spotted that the store listing shows “Out of stock” with a banner reading: “We are no longer selling Google Cardboard on the Google Store. We will continue to help the community build new experience through our Cardboard open source project.”
The aforementioned Cardboard open-source project was launched in 2019 as Google wound down development on the VR SDK. This allows developers to continue producing apps and experiences for the platform moving forward.
Interestingly, in this original announcement, Google claims to have shipped some 15 million Google Cardboard units globally. A low entry-price actually made them an ideal learning companion with your smartphone taking the place of normally expensive VR headsets.
VR has since been left behind in favor of AR, with Google Maps showcasing the enhanced capabilities of the mixed reality platform over the virtual option. Apps can still be grabbed from the Daydream app on the Google Play Store, with 360-video being another example of the VR platform that Google Cardboard helped promote. It’s unclear just how long the dedicated portal for VR apps will remain live, as recent outages left longtime fans perplexed and frustrated.
One major upside is that you can still grab third-party alternatives to fill the void left by official Google Cardboard hardware if you are pining for some affordable and accessible VR.
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