Facebook plans movies, games through virtual reality headsets

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Get Ready for Minecraft on Oculus Rift.

Oculus VR chief executive Brendan Iribe announced on Thursday at Facebook’s FB Oculus Connect 2 Developers Conference that the app was coming to Rift headset, the commercial launch of which is due in early 2016. Oculus, the Facebook-owned virtual reality company, has partnered with 20th Century Fox to make movies available on its new VR cinema, Oculus Video, Fast Company reports.With the Oculus Rift coming onto the PC in 2016, and with Sony’s PlayStation VR for their PlayStation consoles, what will Microsoft get in terms of virtual reality?

If the introduction of the sub-$100 Samsung Gear VR and the high competition between Oculus, Sony, Google, HTC and others over developing the perfect approach to entering the consumer market didn’t convince you, then look no further than the content partners already primed for the medium. During the Oculus Connect event that took place in Hollywood this morning, Luckey went on stage and unveiled some of their plans for 2016, Gamasutra reports. In other words, it will be possible to simulate a full theatre experience for shows such as House of Cards or Orange Is the New Black from the comfort of your sofa. This is according to the folks at Polygon who recently spoke with Nate Mitchell, the VP of product at Oculus who also confirmed that there will not be Xbox One support at the start. Though it is still in its early stages, virtual reality is seen as the next big thing in technology, and announcements by Hulu, Amazon and Vimeo that they plan to release apps for the Oculus suggest isn’t all hype.

Viewers will be able to choose the size of the movie they want to watch, allowing them to opt for either a more casual, smaller screen or a theater-size experience. That’s what makes New York-based YouVisit stand out: when I met them at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, the company had a livestream of the event running online. According to Mitchell, it seems to be about delivering an optimal experience. “What we were finding is that it’s hard enough to deliver a great experience reliably on Windows, never mind adding OS X and Linux to that, which are different beasts entirely.

The foam pads that sit between the face and the hard edges of the Gear VR have been replaced with softer-feeling fabric, and the bulky white plastic that used to cover most of the head straps is gone altogether. Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews penned an op-ed at Billboard on the cost of “free” music, the role of discovery and the future of the subscription vs. ad-supported model. A bootstrapped company that started out in 2009, YouVisit was one of the early developer backers of the Oculus, and has created a library of virtual tours. Microsoft’s Hololens also takes to Minecraft to help them sell their headset – which is a fusion between augmented reality and virtual reality, but with more AR elements present. Everything from Harvard University to Machu Picchu has been designed as a sort of novel way to immerse yourself into a place. “Right now we have apps in the Android Store, iTunes, so anyone with a smartphone can see a lot of the VR experiences we’re creating.” Tolka said.

The tours themselves show the value of real-world content — not just virtual or game spaces — on VR, but it’s the next phase in YouVisit’s work that is most intriguing. Luckey and his team seem to be excited about the whole virtual reality trend and this gives us some sort of assurance that the end product will at least be passion-driven. You’ll get to keep your current user name (as long as it doesn’t contain invalid characters, in which case you’ll have to go through a few extra steps to make the transfer), and all your old comments will eventually (not immediately) migrate with you.

Fighting dinosaurs in ARK sounds superb, and flying an airplane in War Thunder is more than rad, but there’s something about exploring Minecraft with a VR headset that just makes me want to jump up and down out of pure excitement. Tolka says that the hardware is currently marketed as an end-to-end system for live events, but that the goal for YouVisit is to become a platform for content creators. He anticipates the rigs to be rentable or purchasable by both companies and individuals, but the tech isn’t quite ready yet. “It’s not available for purchase just yet — these are cameras we’re testing internally, and hopefully we’ll make these available shortly,” he said.

Oculus VR headset will have Netflix support, and Vimeo and Hulu apps are coming soon as well. users can also view Facebook videos in 360-degree, plus bringing games as well like Minecraft and Lucky’s Tale, according to Wall Street Journal. There’s a reason why Kinect failed – nobody wants to commit to standing up just to play a video-game when they can just jump on the couch and relax after a hard day’s work.

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