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Google launches 6 new Daydream VR games, plus HBO Now and Go VR [Update: Need for Speed is live]

Google has a new round of games for Daydream VR out today, and some of them are pretty good. And some of them... are not that great. Hey, there's also HBO Now VR out today, which is only as good as the stuff you choose to watch. I've had the chance to play around with all of the new titles. Here's how they stack up.

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Google, Samsung, HTC, Oculus, Sony, and Acer form the Global Virtual Reality Association, the first VR special interest group

Perhaps you haven't noticed yet, but virtual reality is kind of a big deal. Samsung has holiday-themed ads running on primetime TV and sports, the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are breaking new ground in a stale gaming industry, and even Google is pushing its new Daydream platform hard. The powers that be think there's money to be made, and that means they're willing to work together (at least to some degree) in pursuit of it. Hence the creation of the Global Virtual Reality Association, announced by Samsung on its corporate blog.

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HBO joins the VR craze with an 'unreleased' Daydream version of HBO GO

So far the focus in the new wave of headset-based virtual reality content seems to be video games, simulations, 360-degree videos and the like, but as it turns out, conventional 2D video content is easy to adapt into an immersive (if not groundbreaking) experience. Google itself offers all the content on YouTube in Daydream flavor, and now HBO is following suit. The premium cable channel has published a Daydream-compatible version of its online component, HBO GO, in the Play Store as an unreleased app.

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Me, a Daydream View, and a 5-hour flight: My first in-air mobile VR experience

Google's Daydream is what I would call the most travel-friendly VR solution yet. Its simple but elegant pointer-style Bluetooth controller means you aren't reaching all over the place to work the VR interface, its comfortable fabric design is tolerable for long periods of wear, and sliding the phone into the viewer is a simple no buttons, no switches affair.

So, I decided to put these qualities to test on a five-hour flight from Los Angeles to New York last week. I had a variety of games (I didn't play any), interactive experiences (many require an active internet connection), and a few movies I'd downloaded from Play Movies to watch.

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Google unveils Earth VR, opening the world to virtual reality, only on Vive for now

Let's be real here: we live on a beautiful planet. While some of our fascinations lie in what is beyond our rock in space, I think that we should take the time to appreciate what we're standing on. It is quite impossible that any one person can see all that this world has to offer, which is why Google Earth is so cool. Today marks the next step for exploring our homeworld by adding the virtual reality element with the appropriately named Earth VR.

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Codes for free Daydream View VR headsets are going out for Pixel pre-orderers

Google first revealed that Pixel pre-orderers would receive Daydream Views free of charge at last month's Pixel unveiling, and now, there's finally some movement; promo codes for the VR headsets are being sent out via email to customers who pre-ordered via the Google Store.

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Google Arts & Culture VR app is now available [APK Download]

If you've been craving a bit of culture for your VR viewing pleasure, Google has you covered. Like many other apps, Arts & Culture VR is going live to prepare for the Daydream headsets. As the name would suggest, this app is meant for those who want to view works of art from museums around the world. While I may be no art fanatic, I would definitely appreciate this.

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The official Daydream app is up on the Play Store

A lucky few Pixel owners are already receiving their Daydream View phone headsets, but most pre-orders will be shipped starting tomorrow. Along with a few other vendors, Google is preparing for the launch by getting the official Daydream app good and ready. It's up on the Play Store right now, and if for some reason you can't access that, we have a copy over on APK Mirror too.

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YouTube VR app now available [APK Download]

To prepare for the launch of Daydream, we have seen a slew of apps go live in anticipation for Google's take on VR. Headsets for the new platform should be available starting tomorrow, November 10. Not looking to be left behind, YouTube has made its entry into virtual reality available today. 

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Google VR Services gets an update in preparation for Daydream VR

Daydream VR was revealed alongside the Pixel phones and Google Home last month, but while those other things began to ship, news surrounding Google's latest virtual reality headset remained sparse. However, the Mountain View-based company has just pushed an update to Google VR Services, the framework needed for Daydream VR to work with the Pixel and Pixel XL.

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