YouTube is the biggest video content platform on the planet and it’s no surprise that there’s quite a bit of immersive content if you know where to look. Then Google released the YouTube VR app to make things easier, initially launching for Daydream headsets before coming to HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. There was always a little bit of doubt whether the Oculus platforms would see YouTube VR appear, however, that’s now happened for Samsung Gear VR at least.
With millions of Gear VR headsets in circulation it makes sense that Google would want to make the app available to as many people as possible, with it due to appear in the Oculus Store for free this week.
In addition to the expanded YouTubeVR support Google also revealed another update for the software making it more social. A new sharing feature lets you watch and discuss videos with others in a communal, virtual space – in a similar vein to Facebook Spaces or Oculus Rooms. This new feature can easily be accessed by clicking on the “Watch Together” icon inside the app, found beneath the play controls in the Daydream View or Gear VR.
So is it worth a download? Well Google claims that: “YouTube VR is already home to more than 800,000 experiences in the virtual world,” and there are more planned, with several exclusives due to arrive this summer. Music fans will be able to go backstage with Portugal. The Man and Hayley Kiyoko as part of the VR180 Rockstar VR series, or how about The Female Planet series, which features activist, entrepreneur, and Olympic bronze medalist in fencing, Ibtihaj Muhammad.
With the launch of YouTube VR on Gear VR it does beg the question on whether Oculus’ other headsets will see support. Oculus Rift is the last of the big three to be included, while Oculus GO should really be guaranteed as it works on the same platform as Gear VR, Oculus Mobile.
If Google stands by the statement of VR Product Lead, Erin Teague that: “We want everyone with a VR headset to be able to experience YouTube VR,” then further headset support is likely on the cards. If that does happen then VRFocus will let you know.