One of the announcements that didn’t quite steal the headlines at Oculus VR’s pre-E3 press conference earlier this month was the reveal of Oculus Home. Nate Mitchell, the company’s VP of Product, took to the stage to reveal a brand new, VR-dedicated user interface (UI) that will serve as a hub for those using the consumer Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD). The software will also allow players to purchase Oculus Rift compatible content from the company itself. In fact, this will be the only place to buy some of Oculus VR’s exclusive content.
Mitchell recently revealed as much to PC Gamer. “It differs from developer to developer,” he said when asked if Home would be the only place to purchase Oculus Rift content. “We’ll have some exclusive games that you can only get through Home. Probably a lot of our stuff, right? That just makes sense. If we’re making it, we want to sell it through our own store. But there will be stuff you can buy directly from developers, for example. We’ve said from the beginning that the Rift—the hardware itself—is an open platform, and that’s really important to us. We think it matches the PC ecosystem really well. So, for example, if we make a game together, we can sell it directly to a consumer, they can run it, they can play it on the Rift, awesome.”
Mitchell went on to stress the importance of the user experience in Oculus Home, which doesn’t require anyone to keep taking the HMD off to make purchases. “In terms of publishing on our store, we’ve already launched our platform on GearVR, so all the Oculus Home experience and the Oculus Store that runs on Gear today is the exact same backend that’s powering the Rift store when it comes online,” he concluded. “So we have developers who’ve published games to our store who are making money today, and we’re going to be bringing basically all that same functionality to the Rift.”
Until now, Oculus Rift users have mainly been depending on platforms such as Steam and VR-dedicated services like WEARVR for to purchase premium VR content. Free experiences can also be downloaded via the Oculus Share portal. Expect Oculus VR to make a much bigger push for purchasing content through its own store when the Oculus Rift launches in Q1 2016, then.
VRFocus will continue to follow the Oculus Rift closely, reporting back with any further updates on the device.