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Google on Tuesday released on Steam Google Earth VR, a powerful app that allows users to explore the Earth in virtual reality. You walk or fly across the landscape or even zoom up into space, all from the ultimate first-person perspective—provided you have the necessary HTC Vive, of course.
The idea of being able to instantly teleport to any major location in the world is exciting enough, but when you add in the ability to fly, it’s downright spellbinding. Reviewers are understandably losing their minds.
One reviewer dream of destroying Tokyo.
“This is the penultimate VR experience. A whole Earth to explore. Perfect use of scaling as you zoom in and out. Comfort mode is optional. Google, Thank you for this experience. This is a MUST GET. Once StreetView/Oceans are added in, it will make this product even better. But as it stands its AMAZING. So download, head to Tokyo and pretend to be Godzilla!”
This reviewer was forced to question whether we are all living in a simulation. Thankfully, they were having too much fun to be haunted.
“About a year ago I was still a bit skeptical about the whole “we are living in a simulation” thing.
Then I started with VR- I lost my skepticism.
But then – Google Earth VR. This is the definitive proof for the Matrix and that one day not to long from now we will build our own.
EVERYONE owning an HTC Vive MUST download it.
Worth every single byte!”
Another user left the experience inspired, with a new appreciation for the Earth.
“I spent just 45 minutes flying around discovering places, I was able to actually fly to all the spots I’ve been to on vacations. There is so much to discover…
Completely zooming in on the Grand Canyon, where I stood just a few months ago gave me almost the same feeling in VR as in RL. This program makes you realize we are so small and earth is beautiful.”
To experience Google Earth VR for yourself, you’ll need to buy an HTC Vive. But those of us who don’t already have one—or have no plan to buy one—can watch this trailer for the app to get an idea of what wer’re missing.
John-Michael Bond is a tech reporter and culture writer for Daily Dot. A longtime cord-cutter and early adopter, he's an expert on streaming services (Hulu with Live TV), devices (Roku, Amazon Fire), and anime. A former staff writer for TUAW, he's knowledgeable on all things Apple and Android. You can also also find him regularly performing standup comedy in Los Angeles.