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Google Planning New VR Headset to Launch This Year - Report

Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive will reportedly be joined by a Google-made VR headset this year.


Google will launch a new virtual reality headset this year, according to a new report from The Financial Times. The Web giant released its first VR device, the low-cost Google Cardboard, in 2014, but the new one is reportedly being positioned as more of a direct competitor with the Samsung/Oculus Gear VR headset.

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Citing sources reportedly familiar with Google's plans, FT reports the new headset will include "better sensors, lenses, and a more solid plastic casing."

This as-yet-unnamed VR headset will launch this year, the report claims, alongside an update to Google's existing Android VR technology. Similar to Cardboard and Gear VR, Google's device will apparently use a smartphone for its display and computing power.

FT also reports that the new Google VR headset will make use of a "much broader range" of Android devices than Gear VR. That headset is only compatible with the latest Samsung Galaxy models.

Google declined to comment. However, as GameSpot sister site CNET reports, CEO Sundar Pichai said recently that Cardboard, which has shipped 5 million units, represents just the start of Google's plans for VR.

"It's still incredible early innings for virtual reality as a platform," Pichai said. "Cardboard is just a first step, but we are excited by the progress we have seen."

Head to FT to read the full story and get all the details.

Clay Bavor, Google's vice president of VR, is one of the featured speakers for this week's Vision VR/AR Summit in California. If he announces any VR plans during the event, we'll have the details for you.

If Google's new VR headset indeed launches this year, it won't be alone. Other high-profile VR headsets debuting in 2016 include Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive.

What would you like to see from a new Google VR headset? Let us know in the comments below!

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