Day 2 – Virtual Reality News from Oculus Connect 2

What did day 2 of Oculus Connect have in store for everyone? Appearances from Mark Zuckerberg, announcements of $99 Samsung Gear VR hmds and VR comes to Netflix. Read on for a more in-depth review.

On a day that saw a number of surprises, the first to get people gasping was the arrival on stage of a Mr Zuckerberg. Hot on the heels of Facebook’s announcement of 360 video support he further endorsed the industry adding that VR is the natural progression for media consumption.

The scene for the keynotes from Oculus was none other than the Dolby Theatre – the very same setting as the Oscars, an industry that may well someday be eclipsed by this young and exciting new upstart.

The biggest announcement was the $99 Samsung Gear VR headset – part of the Oculus Mobile platform. This headset will be able to take any of the current generation Samsung phones. The headset is also lighter and has new ergonomic features and design tweaks.

The other main announcements were Netflix and Minecraft for both Gear VR and for Oculus Rift itself. These announcements will be vital for bringing in more of the average consumer to the VR platform and helping to drive adoption.

Palmer Luckey did a brilliant, typically lackadaisical, speech where he touched on to the fascinating subject of the Metaverse – the future pace we can all go to exist and interact in virtual reality. This ties in well with the free handout of Ernest Clien’s Ready Player One to all attendees. Hopefully he can make that future a bit rosier!

Notable highlights:

Oculus announced ‘Oculus Ready’ PC program – stickers/certs on PCs that are capable for VR. Confirmed a Q1 2016 launched

Collaboration with Twitch for multiplayer content.

Film titles available on Oculus Video – partnership with the big Hollywood studios to bring big films in an oculus ‘cinema’ style environment.

VR winning Emmy’s was mentioned as a growing up stage for the industry.

Notably a question put to a panelist from Twentieth Century Fox during a talk on VR in Hollywood asking about whether 1st or 3rd person POV was preferable in VR was strangely avoided with reference to “his boss being in the audience” – what are Fox working on?! It’s interesting that such a fundamental question was skirted around – leaving a lot of mystery in the industry with regards best practice from the big studios.

Missed out on our day 1 round up?

 

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