We are mere months away from the release of the consumer Oculus Rift headset, and thanks to the Oculus Connect conference today, now we know that a couple of our top media obsessions are headed to virtual reality.
First up is Netflix, with the company announcing plans to bring its app to the Oculus Store for the Rift, letting you access everything in the streaming library and watch it on a flat panel in a virtual living room of sorts. Better yet, if you have a Gear VR Innovator Edition headset, you’ll be able to download the app today and get started.
There’s a remarkably in-depth post about the app’s creation on the Netflix blog, thanks to Oculus CTO and former id Software legend John Carmack. And Netflix is only the beginning: Hulu will have an Oculus app out this fall, and other services like Twitch and Vimeo are coming before long, while film studios 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate are readying film rentals and purchases as well.
Perhaps just as significant as Netflix’s move to VR is that of Minecraft, and Microsoft and Oculus announced that the in-beta Windows 10 Edition will gain Rift compatibility next spring. Details are thin, but it’s interesting to see that Microsoft isn’t just hoarding Minecraft for its augmented reality HoloLens headset – probably because consumers won’t see that hardware for some time.
And that’s not all: Epic Games unveiled the super slick Bullet Train (trailer above), which uses the Oculus Touch motion controllers. Additionally, classic games from Sega, Bandai Namco, and Midway are all headed to an Oculus Arcade app for the Gear VR and presumably Oculus Rift, as well.
Given the new US$99 consumer edition of the Gear VR out in November, do Netflix and Oculus Arcade make that purchase any more appealing, or will more consumers wait for the full-fledged Rift to dig into Minecraft, Bullet Train, and more? In any case, VR is pulling more and more creators into the fold before consumers start making tough decisions in the coming months.
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