Soon you’ll be able to stream all that great VR gameplay straight to the world’s biggest social media site.
So far virtual reality is more-or-less a single-player experience. Sure there are several multiplayer experiences that do a decent job of providing a sense of community, but the technology is still relatively isolating. It’s even more frustrating simply trying to spectate someone else playing. Sure there are solutions such as ‘mixed reality,’ but the need for a dedicated space, full green screen set up and specialized camera makes the process complicated and expensive. Facebook and Oculus share your concerns, which is why they announced plans to bring Facebook’s popular live-streaming functionality to the Samsung Gear VR headset. This means your friends on Facebook will have a front row seat to all the games and media you’re enjoying live!
Max Cohen, Head of Mobile at Oculus, stated at the recent Oculus Connect 3, “Often, you’ll have more friends outside of VR than inside of VR at any given time, and so, we’re actually going to launch live streaming later this year, so you can share your in-VR experience to anyone on Facebook.”
Viewers will be able to like, comment and share the stream in real-time and the Gear VR system will deliver user stats from the stream directly after it ends. While this may seem like a small, fairly inconsequential feature to add, it’s an important and necessary step towards making virtual reality a more social experience. It’s appropriate that the world’s largest social media site is taking on this issue themselves but there are still some important questions that have yet to be answered. One the biggest ones being whether or not those operating the Gear VR will be able to see those likes and comments in real-time.
While streaming on Facebook will be a great way to share your VR experience with friends, it’s more-or-less pointless if there is no way for the streamer to interact with their audience while live. You have to imagine that this live streaming add-on will contain similar features included in the default Facebook live streaming (currently only usable via the Facebook app), but until we get more information we remain skeptical. There isn’t a whole lot of time till years end though so it wouldn’t be shocking to receive this crucial information in the near, near future.
While there are plenty of live streamers broadcasting their HTC Vive and Oculus Rift gameplay, this feature will be the first official service for sharing live VR experiences to social media. It’ll be exciting to see this trend increase as more and more users start showing of their virtual adventures.