Google has been about using VR to travel to explore new places in the world; and now it has gone to the logical extension of that plan. Google Earth VR allows people to wander around our planet in full virtual reality; the catch is that it only works with the HTC Vive.
The programme itself is similar to how Google Earth works now. Users are able to zoom in and out of the globe, and are able to view landmarks in full 3D. There is also an option to enable proper human-sized scaling; allowing virtual travelers to fully experience what the view from the ground is like.
Google Earth VR also includes several guided tours, in the event that people want to know more about the locations they are visiting. On the other hand, those who prefer less structure can simply fly around the globe until they find something worth looking at.
As it is, Google Earth VR is a free to play title on Steam. However, it is only available for the HTC Vive. Some OpenVR users are reporting that the game refuses to launch as long as it fails to detect the very specific VR headset.
Google will be bringing Google Earth VR to other platforms next year, but it isn’t clear what this means. We assume that a version will make its way to the Pixel smartphone at some point, but it’s difficult to say when this will happen.