You Can Stream Netflix, HBO on Google's First-Ever Virtual Reality Device

google daydream view netflix
Google (Edited)

Virtual reality will be part of our entertainment future -- Google insists. Along with the unveiling of the tech company's new Pixel phone and Google Home, a hands-free, do-it-all device, comes the announcement of Google Daydream View, a a cozy, affordable VR headset that will hit the market next month. What would you use it for? VR might be the future, but the goals are focused on the present. With hundreds of Netflix movies and TV shows to watch, Google just wants you to kick back and immerse yourself in Stranger Things Season 2.

The View utilizes Google's Daydream VR platform, readily available on the new Pixel and Pixel XL phones (although it's expected to accommodate any Daydream-supporting mobile device). Users who pick up a Pixel and a View will simply slip their phones in front of the viewer, activate Daydream, and be their on their way. Google's early specs prioritize comfort; it's smaller and, according to the press announcement, 30% lighter than competing VR headsets. Upholstered fabric and foam, and designed to jive with eyeglasses, the Daydream View might be the most wearable virtual reality unit on the market, too.

Using a stand alone remote, Daydream View users will be able to access a sensible amount of starter apps. There's the obvious -- immersive 3-D games that should rival the Flappy Bird knock-offs you play on your phone -- and the more enticing offers. For loners looking to binge on the virtual big screen, Daydream View will offer Netflix, HBO Now, Google Play, Hulu, and YouTube right off the bat.

They aren't fully VR experiences -- you can't wonder the halls of Orange Is the New Black's Litchfield Penitentiary just yet -- but the VR equivalent of sitting in your own private movie theater. No more second-screen attention-diversions while you half-watch the new season of BoJack Horseman -- Daydream View is out to hold your attention. And with more and more tailor-made virtual reality content emerging from independent studios, it's hard to imagine original experiences developed in-hour at Google will be far behind.

Will it be able to attract your attention in the first place? The initial Daydream View unit will run you $79, a price your actual reality wallet may be able to afford.

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Matt Patches is a Senior Editor at Thrillist. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, and Vulture. Find him on Twitter @misterpatches.