Until now, Google’s Daydream VR has been limited by support for only a single, basic controller, but that may be changing. Simultaneous multiple controller support has just been added to the Google VR software used by Daydream and Cardboard devices, though it’s unclear which headsets will actually support the feature.
Spotted by Redditors today within the latest GitHub release of Google VR SDK for Unity version 1.150.0, the Multiple Controller Support feature begins by selecting one controller as the “dominant controller” based on the user’s left- or right-handedness, then tracking inputs from both hands. Each controller’s orientation, gyroscope, accelerometer, touch, and button input can be separately monitored, along with battery level and error information.
Critically, however, Google’s release notes suggest that some Daydream devices will only support a single controller, while others can support two controllers. It’s unclear whether this implies new Daydream hardware or a firmware update to enable simultaneous dual-controller support.
Regardless, enabling multiple controllers to be used by Daydream headsets would make ports of other VR devices’ games easier, which is the key goal of Unity, the game development engine supported by the new SDK. Unity notes that the only official first-party input device for Daydream has been the pill-shaped Daydream controller, which offers three degrees of freedom, a dual-axis touch/click controller, and two extra buttons. By comparison, Google’s Cardboard has supported various third-party controllers.
We’ve reached out to Google for additional details and will update this article if and when we hear back.