Since revealing that its Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) will be launching in the first quarter of 2016, Oculus VR has lightly touched upon some of the interfaces and systems that users can expect to engage with on the device. Today at its Oculus Connect developer conference at the Loews Hotel in Hollywood, California, the company went into far more detail about these systems than ever before. Oculus VR explained its new Oculus Platform, promising new features for both consumers and developers alike.
Oculus VR’s Head of Developer Strategy, took the audience through some updates to the Oculus Platform during the opening keynote speech this morning. Sweet noted that the company had been talking to developers to come up with a system for both the Oculus Rift and the company’s mobile HMD, Gear VR, that focused on social features, game and app services, and commerce. She started by detailing a more robust user profile system, revealing her own personal username and avatar as seen below. Consumers will be able to use this feature to personalise their own accounts, while developers will be able to change information in their own games.
Of course, this system will also come with its own friends list, with Sweet then showing links to other accounts that included none other than Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey. This system will also support lobbies known as ‘Rooms’. Here, players can connect before launching a multiplayer VR title. Peer-to-peer networking and matchmaking services will also be included with these features.
Following that, Sweet confirmed a long list of other features that are in the works, as seen above. Highlights include cloud saving and Oculus VR’s own achievement system, iterating the on rewards concept that was popularised by the Xbox 360.
The Oculus Store was up next. As seen at E3 2015, the store can be used in VR, with a publishing team ready to assist developers with the process of submissions. Perhaps the biggest news here, however, was the announcement of Oculus Concepts, which carries ‘the spirit’ of Oculus VR’s free software portal, Oculus Share. This essentially resembles an early access programme, allowing developers to distribute content that isn’t yet finished to share with the community. The system will be coming to Gear VR in 2015 and Oculus Rift in 2016.
It’s clear that the company is making these new systems a priority, bringing the online features of the Oculus Rift and Gear VR up to the standards that consumers expect of modern day consoles. VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus VR’s work with the Oculus Platform closely, reporting back with the latest updates on it.