Virtual reality (VR) isn’t just about having the best videogame and what support each of the various headsets are given. Although it seems it is easy to forget that on some occasions. There’s also a wide range of software and applications out there for all manner of things, be they small or large. Everything from education to other forms of entertainment, things to get you from point A to point B, creative tool-sets for both art and design and beyond.
Whilst there’s all these other apps and systems on top of apps and systems sometimes you just want to use your computer and your computer alone – and wouldn’t that be great to do in VR? Well thankfully for those that do there’s the whole ‘virtual desktop’ category of application, which is even more virtual in VR of course. One of the biggest players in that scene is Bigscreen, which first came to prominence back in the early part of last year with their service, which has gone on to not only bring your PC into VR as a virtual desktop but has continued to develop a number of additional social features. One of which reported on recently with the bringing into the service of ‘movie nights’, with mainstream theatrical productions being shown in VR for a short period of time. The first being an official team-up with Paramount Studios to bring the movie classic eighties film Top Gun to users for free – and in 3D too.
Bigscreen also had one other piece of particularly good news however and not just for PC users. Prior to this week the app has only been available on Oculus Rift or with an HTC Vive. On Thursday however Bigscreen, Inc. expanded their scope even further and now the application supports not just these head mounted displays (HMDs) but they now, although this has yet to be updated on the Steam page listing, also have welcomed all Windows Mixed Reality HMDs as well.
Not content with that the team are looking to bring the cross-platform app to non-PC based platforms in 2018, with the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream smartphone powered HMDs being joined by a planned update that would also see support rolled out to PlayStation VR owners. Another HMD specifically namechecked by the company is the upcoming standalone HMD the Oculus Go.
Speaking back in October after the company secured a large scale injection of investment following a successful funding campaign. Darshan Shankar, CEO of Bigscreen, Inc., emphasised the success of the firm and service to date.
“Over the past year, Bigscreen has grown significantly to more than a quarter million users. In just the past few months–led by several major product updates–our core metrics grew over 300%. Our power users spend 20–30+ hours using Bigscreen every week, and many users have spent more than 1,000 hours in Bigscreen.” He explained. “Based on usage and user reviews, Bigscreen is now one of the most popular VR apps in the world. Bigscreen has become a killer app for VR (and we’re just getting started).”
VRFocus will certainly be reporting on further developments with the service as we move into 2018.