March 10, 2016 11:24am
We now finally know how Facebook intends to make the experience of using a virtual reality headset more social.
Oculus is adding Facebook sharing to the Gear VR, new social games and other features designed to make the act of wearing Samsung’s Gear VR a more social experience.
In terms of Facebook-related features, Gear VR is set to get a dedicated section for Facebook videos. At the beginning of next week, Gear VR owners will be able to connect their Facebook account to the VR headset in order to view 360-degree videos. Users will also be able to “Like”, share and react with emojis while watching videos with the headset.
Gear VR users will also be able to create their own Oculus username in order to connect with friends on the platform. New “rooms” in Oculus Social allow Twitch and Vimeo streams to be watched simultaneously with people added to Oculus friend lists.
Two new games, Social Trivia and Herobound: Gladiators, which, according to Oculus’ recent blog post about the new features, let players “band together with up to four people to conquer goblins and demons in arena battlefields.”
The reveal of these new features follow Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s surprise appearance at Samsung’s Galaxy S7 reveal press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month. During his brief speech, Zuckerberg mentioned that Facebook has created a social VR team dedicated to creating VR social experiences.
While it hasn’t been confirmed that these Oculus created Gear VR features will also come to the Oculus Rift, it’s likely the features will make their way to Facebook’s full-fledged VR headset at some point in the future.