Google has removed Google Play Movies & TV from its Daydream VR platform.
Play Movies & TV is Google’s portal for renting and purchasing movies and shows. It’s available on Android, iOS, Web, and Roku. Before this month it was also available on Daydream, Google’s VR platform for high-end Android smartphones and Lenovo’s standalone headset.
Daydream users will still be able to watch their rented movies through their Library in the YouTube VR app. However the UI isn’t exactly designed for this, and browsing and purchasing movies they’ll now need to use their phone or computer.
This news comes as part of a trend of Google winding down investment in the Daydream platform. Last month, Google’s head of VR told CNET that the company would not be releasing a Quest competitor this year. Samsung stopped supporting Daydream with its Galaxy S10, and Google’s own recently released Pixel 3A doesn’t support Daydream either.
Google has gained a reputation for starting and quickly abandoning new platforms and products, but it’s disappointing to see the company seemingly take this approach to virtual reality.
Facebook’s competing Oculus Go headsets offers movie rental and purchasing in VR through Oculus Video, although only in the USA. This feature was removed from the PC VR Rift platform, with Facebook claiming the Rift is used primarily for gaming.
Let us know what you think of this news, and Google’s trend as a whole, in the comments below!