Virtual reality lets people play interactive movies, introduces massive gaming environments to explore, and even transports tourists to exotic new locations. The potential for the technology is endless, and starting tomorrow, Samsung’s Gear VR users will be able to use it to take social interactions to the next level.
A new Oculus VR blog post explains the various social features that will be coming to virtual reality. Gear VR owners will be able to create a profile, search for others across the Oculus Social platform, and interact through games and videos.
The company has already detailed the first couple of games that will take advantage of social communication. The first is called Social Trivia. As its name implies, the game enables up to four friends to sit down for a good old-fashioned round of trivia, answering questions and earning points.
Another game, Herobound: Gladiators, lets players team up in four-player cooperative match to battle against goblins and demons in arena-based battlefields. Both of these games are available now.
On top of that, Oculus Social enables users to communicate with one another through Twitch or Vimeo streams. But this is just the start of the company’s VR video capabilities.
Upcoming features will include a new Facebook tab in its Videos section, enabling users to log into their Facebook account to view personalized 360-degree videos through their device, based on the pages and people that are being followed. Videos will also be shareable through the Gear VR headset, with interaction through comments.
Oculus has also promised to make the headset more accessible with developers, promising to release new tools “that make it even easier to create more incredible social VR games and apps”.
Chances are that Oculus will bring a number of these features, with possible improvements, to the high-end Oculus Rift VR headset when it launches later this spring.
It looks like a great way for more people to get involved with virtual reality, although it’d be neat to see additional games take advantage of the format, such as a first-person shooter or even sports titles.
For now, it’s definitely a good step in the right direction, and helps fulfill the vision Facebook had for virtual reality when it purchased Oculus VR in 2014.