- Oculus held its second developers forum in California.
- The company shed light on its broad eco-system and partnerships ahead of the 2016 launch.
- Oculus presented rich, high-quality content that fits many types of users and dismissed any concerns about the lack of VR content.
For the last few years, tech industry enthusiasts have spoken highly of the revolution that virtual and augmented reality will bring to the consumer electronics market and to the way we consume our entertainment. I covered this topic here on Amigobulls before emphasizing the massive investment that Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and others put into their VR/AR solutions. Most of these players are expected to start shipping their solutions at the beginning of 2016, igniting the imagination of gamers, tech enthusiasts, and investors. However, as we get closer to 2016, concerns about the lack of content for these devices started to rise above the surface.
In a recent conference in California, Oculus revealed some examples of the content that will be available on its platform – and it’s much richer than previously assumed. Oculus discussed movie studio partnerships, gaming partnerships, social and TV streaming – all targeted to create a comprehensive eco-system for Oculus with rich content that attracts many types of customers.
Oculus announced a strategic alliance with leading film studios Twentieth Century Fox Twenty First Century Fox -A (NASDAQ:FOXA) and Lions Gate to bring the movie experience to a virtual reality platform. Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is trying to do something different from Fox and Lions Gate, and is experimenting with short 10-minute videos targeted to provide a different experience to the VR audience and one that is a better fit for their requirements. Disney has already mentioned its desire to offer a VR experience for its famous theme Parks, and the short video experiment is another step toward penetrating that market.
Oculus announced exciting partnerships with three leading streaming content providers Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Vimeo, and Hulu, who will develop dedicated VR apps for Oculus in order to provide a unique experience for the viewer using the headset. Netflix is developing a fully virtual environment for viewers, in which they can change how their living room looks before watching TV or choose another set to watch their favorite series. Hulu and Vimeo apps will follow soon.
On the gaming front, Oculus will combine both existing games that were transformed to VR and new games created specifically for the virtual reality experience. Oculus and Microsoft initially announced their partnership in June and mentioned then that every Xbox One game will be playable on Oculus Rift using a Xbox controller, which will be included with every Oculus device. They also announced a content optimization for Windows 10, which is a serious hit for Google’s Android VR OS attempt. In the Oculus Connect conference in Los Angeles, Oculus and Microsoft announced that the popular game Minecraft will be available on Oculus Rift after rumors claimed that it was uncertain.
In its conference, Oculus highlighted the importance of social features in the virtual reality experience; they call it social VR. One of the basic social VR features in Oculus will, of course, be Facebook and its different social network apps. However, the most interesting partnership is in this area is with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Twitch. Twitch is a social network that allows users either to broadcast their gaming sessions or to view and comment on live or uploaded game videos. Twitch has more than 100 million unique viewers a month and more than 1.5 million unique broadcasters, making it a highly active and vibrant community. Adding Twitch to the Oculus App Store will add an important social aspect to Oculus games that many game developers are looking for. This partnership could open the door for a large number of new games developed for the Oculus platform.
Oculus and Facebook continue to work on expanding the Oculus eco-system and add more titles and content to its app store. As more and more partnerships are revealed alongside new efforts by entertainment companies to enter the Oculus platform, Oculus is slowly setting its leadership position in this market, and new players will have a very hard time penetrating the market and top Oculus's solution.