At the Oculus Connect 3 (OC3) event in October, the company had plenty to talk about with most of it focused on the launch of Oculus Touch. But mobile head-mounted display (HMD) Gear VR didn’t get forgotten, being included in a joint announcement with Oculus Rift regarding new social features Rooms and Parties. Oculus have now revealed both options are now available.
With Oculus Parties up to four people can get together and start a voice call wherever they are, whatever they are doing in virtual reality (VR). Accessed directly through Oculus Home starting a party is easy. Users select the party tab, choose who they want to join the party, and start chatting away.
While Oculus Rooms provides a place for Parties to hangout, watch TV, listen to music and play mini-games with up to eight people. Another feature of Rooms is that users can gather round the app launcher and jump into another social app together. As long as developers integrate the feature into their API users can then enjoy more title together. These currently include: Dragon Front, Casino VR Poker, Ascension VR, Wands and Fusion Wars.
Many VR naysayers have always used social interaction as a reason why VR won’t be successful or popular, but many companies are focused on proving VR can be just as social as communicating with your smartphone. Other apps that specialise in this area include AltspaceVR and vTime, with the former showcasing live events and the latter allowing users to upload their own 360-degree photos to use as backdrops for virtual environments.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Oculus social plans, reporting back with any further updates.