Earlier in the year social networking giant and Oculus VR owner Facebook revealed that it would be bringing 360 degree video experiences to its popular platform. During its F8 developer conference, the company confirmed that these videos would eventually support Oculus VR’s virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD), the Oculus Rift. Today finally sees the launch of Facebook’s first 360 degree video. A short clip has been released promoting the highly anticipated next chapter in the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The 56-second video is available on the official Star Wars Facebook page, though it appears it may not be available in all regions. Set on Jakku, one of the planets to debut in the latest movie, the action puts viewers in the shoes of a speeder bike pilot, shooting through the sandy environment at incredibly fast speeds while wreckage of warships from the villainous Empire pass them by. On PC viewers can use their mouse to drag the perspective around while the same can be done using a finger on mobile devices, though these only work on Android right now. It appears that support for the Oculus Rift is not yet included in these videos.
According to Variety a lot of 360 degree promotional content is being lined up for Facebook’s new feature. This includes newly released videos from Discovery, GoPro cameras, and content from LeBron James, which has been produced by Felix and Paul Studios. Support for Apple’s iOS operating system will be arriving in the coming months, but Facebook is remaining quiet about when Oculus Rift integration will be added. The consumer version of the device isn’t due until the first quarter of next year, so it may be that fans will have to wait until that to truly watch this content in VR.
VRFocus will continue to follow Facebook’s work with 360 degree media, reporting back with the latest from the company.