Virtual reality (VR) companies are acting fast to combat the assumption that the technology is inherently anti-social. Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), for example, is pushing a ‘social screen’ aspect for its PlayStation VR head-mounted display (HMD), which allows others to play alongside some within the HMD. Oculus VR, on the other hand, has Toybox, a multiplayer tech demo for its Oculus Touch position tracked controllers for the Oculus Rift that proves the power of 2 people interacting in VR. In fact, as time goes on, Oculus VR owner Facebook predicts that 40% of time spent in VR will be with social experiences.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said as much in a recent interview with Fast Company. “If you look at how people spend time on all computing platforms, whether it’s phones or desktops before that, about 40% is spent on some kind of communications and media,” Zuckerberg explained. “Over the long term, when [Oculus] becomes a more mature platform, I would bet that it’s going to be that same 40% of the time spent doing social interactions and things like that. And that’s what we know. That’s what we can do.”
Much of the content that Oculus VR has in store for the Oculus Rift and its mobile counterpart, the Gear VR, is single-player at this point in time, though there are some notable exceptions. Oculus Social, for example, launched on Gear VR a few weeks ago and allows friends to meet up online and watch Twitch and Vimeo videos together in a virtual theatre of sorts. Meanwhile, plenty of other third-party developers are working on social content for HMDs that will allow players to communicate, share content and much more.
VRFocus will continue to follow each and every VR HMD closely, reporting back with the latest updates on them.