Google’s finally seen the light and launched a virtual reality (VR) category for its online store.
There’s not a whole lot to choose from at the moment, though newbies looking to see what all the VR fuss is about might want to put down $15 for the Mountain View company’s Cardboard headset. Stump up an additional $10 and you’ll have an extra set you can gift to a buddy.
The cheap-as-chips offering works with most Android and iOS smartphones with displays of up to 6 inches.
Other VR options offered in the new section in Google’s online store include the Mattel View-Master VR that launched in 2015. The reworking of the classic toy costs $30 and, with its plastic housing, is a more durable option compared to Google’s paper-based creation.
This particular unit is aimed squarely at the littl’uns, with Google highlighting VR apps offering “content for education and fun,” while the device itself incorporates “a comfortable rubber eyepiece [that] provides a snug fit for kids and blocks out more light.” If interested, be sure to check out which handsets work with the device by checking the list at the foot of its listing in the store.
Mattel last month unveiled an updated version of its viewer featuring improved optics and an audio jack, though it won’t be available till the fall.
Finally, there’s the minimalist Goggle Tech C1 Glass viewer (right), a $15 Cardboard-compatible foldable device that Google describes as an “ultra-portable” solution “for VR on the go.” At just 1 oz (27 g), this is the lightest of the bunch, and for your money you’ll also get a microfiber bag for easy carrying and cleaning. Like Cardboard, this viewer works with most smartphones with displays of up to 6 inches.
The Web giant is rumored to be building a VR headset far sturdier than its current cardboard unit. Said to be similar to Samsung’s Gear VR headset, the device would enable it to better compete with a slew of other leading tech firms who’re currently exploring the VR space.
If it really is developing such a product, it’s possible Google will use its I/O developer conference in May to give us a glimpse of its work in progress. Such an announcement could also come alongside the unveiling of its rumored Android VR operating system. We’ll keep you posted.