Google announced that they have no plans to release any new virtual reality hardware for the remainder of 2019. Instead, they are shifting their focus on bringing new services to their current VR gear. Google is already invested in several projects including Oculus Quest, the Tilt Brush art tool, and YouTube VR.
Clay Bavor, Google’s head of VR and AR stated in a quote to CNET:
“On the VR front, our focus right now is much more on services and the bright spots where we see VR being really useful. On the hardware and devices side, again, I characterize the phase we’re in as deep R&D, focused on building the critical Lego bricks behind closed doors. If you can dream it, we probably have a prototype of it somewhere in one of our labs.”
Google also sees Lenovo’s Mirage Solo as a type of dev kit for developers that are interested in developing for Google’s Daydream platform. Google says that Mirage Solo has been pushed to be really useful for developers over the past year.
All of this sounds like Google planning to launch a new piece of VR tech on the same level as game consoles did when it became all about services, rather than hardware. By focusing on services and using them as the building blocks, Google can use those tested and proven services on next-gen VR equipment and use them as selling points. Maybe this could cause other VR manufacturers to follow suit.