Google's new Android VR platform is called 'Daydream'

Because Cardboard is so 2014.

Google might be making waves with its low-cost Cardboard virtual reality headset, but that was 2014. Daydream is now. Daydream is hardware and software baked into Android N: a headset that looks an awful lot like the Gear VR and Rift headsets, complete with a controller that looks similar to an Apple TV remote. From the sound of it, this won't usurp other hardware makers that are doing VR on their own handsets; Samsung, for instance, is actually partnering with Google here. So are Alcatel, HTC and LG, among others.

But hardware only gets you so far. Google says that Cardboard apps have been downloaded 50 million times, and that some of them are making their way to Daydream. The New York Times, CNN and even HBO and IMAX are getting in the game here. And speaking of games, expect to see offerings from the likes of Electronic Arts and Ubisoft.

All of the apps shown off onstage lived in VR. The hub world shown was a stylized, polygonal forest setting, with apps floating in a grid in front of the user. Google even went so far as to rebuild YouTube from the ground up for VR, much like the Google Play store. Daydream doesn't launch until the fall, but a developer preview will be available soon.

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