A week ago Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg received the Axel Springer Award in Berlin. During the award ceremony, the young millionaire chose to talk about a hot topic: the future of virtual reality in general, and the role of Oculus Rift in particular.
After releasing a controversial picture of the entire audience wearing the VR headsets as he was walking on stage, Mr. Zuckerberg went on to put some fears to rest. The media claimed VR will encourage antisocial behavior, but he argued that virtual reality should, in fact, have the exact opposite effect.
But before that debate could be settled, Oculus announced some new social features for the Samsung Gear VR, including new ways to enjoy 360-degree content and multiplayer games.
There’s no doubt that virtual reality is exciting and promising, but most of the headsets revealed so far have yet to display any social-oriented features.
Just like the Portal demo for the HTC Vive Pre, most of the content we’ve seen and the demos we’ve been presented seem to revolve around a solo experience.
Today, Samsung Gear VR decided to finally take a turn for the social aspect, launching new social features for Oculus. To begin with, consumers using Oculus Social can now design virtual rooms where they can watch Vimeo or Twitch content together.
Moreover, Oculus released “Social Trivia,” a new social game puts up to five players into a virtual setting where they get to compete in Trivia matches.
If you’re interested in something more action-oriented, you might want to try Herobound: Gladiators; this is a multiplayer adventure game with built-in voice chat, which pairs up to four players against goblins and demons in arena battles.
Even apart from new gaming features, Oculus Video has shown impressive improvements. Because a lot of users watch 360-degree videos for VR on Facebook, Oculus Video has added a new “Facebook Videos” tab.
Starting next week, Oculus promised that Samsung Gear VR users can connect their Facebook account with Oculus Video and customize their feed. They can view and sort through their 360-degree videos and manage the people and pages they follow.
In the coming weeks, Gear VR owners will also be able to like and share 360-videos on Facebook within VR. Come April, developers will get their own tools to help them create social VR games and apps with more ease.
Last but not least, users have been given the possibility of leaving reviews for the apps within the Oculus Store.
Image Source: Oculus