What the Announcements from Oculus Connect Mean for VR

What do Samsung ,Netflix, Minecraft, and Oculus have in common? If you tuned into Thursday morning at the Oculus Connect event, you saw the players above are all combining forces to usher in a new era of virtual reality…an era where virtual reality is available to the masses. 

Making Virtual Reality Mainstream

How many friends do you have who have never tried virtual reality before?  Many people will say that systems are too expensive, that they don’t have a use for it yet. You, game players, techies and VR developers, know that the virtual reality industry is not only exciting and awesome, but it is also an industry that is growing quickly, with 14 million units expected to be sold worldwide in 2016

Oculus and Samsung agree with you. At Oculus Connect last week, the announcement of Oculus’s new Samung Gear VR thrilled everyone with a price tag of $99. This means that a previously more expensive virtual reality unit that only select individuals would buy will now be cheaper and appeal to a much larger demographic who initially may have thought twice before investing in a device. What’s more? It’s conveniently timed release just before the holiday season which means you bet you’ll be seeing this device on many wish lists. 

Bringing Your Living Room to You  

In addition to partnering on a less expensive device for the public, Oculus is also making sure that you can bring your favorite shows with you wherever you take your Samsung Gear VR through launching a Netflix app as well as with Hulu and Twitch compatibility. Sitting in an airport, no problem, Breaking Bad or House of Cards will be brought to you by Netflix in a “living room” experience.  You can imagine that this alone will incentivize many who have not considered breaking into virtual reality before to try it out. Watching your favorite show while sitting comfortably sounds a lot better than hunching over a small cellphone screen to us. 

Expanding the Gaming Realm

Minecraft will be joining the virtual reality forces through the Oculus Rift and Gear VR systems in Spring 2016. The third best selling video game of all time will finally be available to play. This well known game is played by individuals of all ages and its entrance into the virtual reality space will be noticed by the over 100 million Minecraft players. Minecraft’s entrance into virtual reality brings up the question—what will emerge as the biggest game in VR?

What Does This All Mean?

These three announcements only touch a fraction of the exciting things that happened at this year’s Oculus Connect conference. They all show, however that large household names are taking notice and investing in virtual reality.  With integrations like these into Oculus systems, more individuals will be interested in investing in virtual reality systems, making it more and more a part of daily life and interactions. More opportunities to use virtual reality means that even more tools, systems, and developers will be needed to create immersive augmented reality experiences. Either way, we can’t wait to see what happens in the next year.