Oculus, the makers behind the innovative Oculus Rift VR headset, recently launched a new service. Known as Oculus Venues, this app brings live entertainment to the virtual space. The company, owned by social media giants Facebook, are certainly pushing the social element of their platforms. With the recent launch of their Oculus Go headset, the company are making significant strides towards mass market adoption. In this article, we’ll take a look at what the Oculus Venues app brings to consumers and how you can access it. We’ll also examine some of the exciting content that’s scheduled for the experience.
What is Oculus Venues?
Oculus Venues is a live entertainment platform for owners of the Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR. It will give users the opportunity to experience live entertainment such as sporting occasions, concerts, and comedy shows in virtual reality. Essentially, it’s a means to get prime tickets to popular events, without having to leave the comfort of your home. Not only will you get to see these events, but you’ll also get to experience social interactions with other Oculus and Gear VR users. The virtual area around you will be populated with other users’ avatars.
How Can I Access Oculus Venues?
Currently, Venues is only available to users who have either a new Oculus Go headset or a Gear VR one. Support for the Rift is due to arrive later this year. To access the live entertainment, you’ll first have to create an Oculus avatar. This will be the virtual version of yourself that other event attendees will be able to see. You’ll then need to link your Facebook account with your Oculus one. It’s clear to see that Facebook is pushing the agenda of social VR with the Venues app.
What Content Will Oculus Venues Have?
So far, Oculus has a wide range of content planned for the Venues app. The first public event was a Vance Joy concert on 30th May, to some generally favourable reviews. Attendees reportedly enjoyed the social aspect of being able to interact with other avatars. With a strict code of conduct, there was little room for harassment or bad behaviour. Over the summer, there will MLB games, live comedy from Gotham Comedy Club, and some classic movie streaming from Lionsgate. It seems that there’s a lot planned for this medium, so it will be interesting to see how popular it becomes and what the next steps are.
Oculus Venues: Final Thoughts
It’s a really exciting time for VR developments, as more companies are pushing VR content. The Venues app presents a unique approach to live entertainment, giving virtual reality device owners the opportunity to experience the spectacle from their own home. It remains to be seen whether the concept will catch on. Even with the launch of the standalone Oculus Go headset, the technology isn’t in the hands of the average consumer yet. As more users adopt the tech, more companies and services may well focus more on VR content.