At the beginning of March, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was awarded the Axel Springer Award in Berlin. Among the various topics that have been brought into discussion during the award ceremony, the company's CEO talked about the Oculus Rift and the future of virtual reality as a whole, and claimed that despite the fears that VR might encourage antisocial behavior, his opinion is that virtual reality should, in fact, have the opposite effect. Whatever the case may be, yesterday Oculus announced a handful of new social features for the Samsung Gear VR, including a couple of multiplayer games and new ways to discover 360-degree content.
As exciting as virtual reality might be, most headsets revealed so far haven't really showcased any social-oriented features. On the contrary, up until now most demos and content revolve around the experience of a single user, as is the case with the Portal demo for the HTC Vive Pre. However, today the Samsung Gear VR takes a turn for the social aspect, as Oculus launches a series of new social features for the mobile platform. To begin with, Oculus Social now allows users to create rooms with friends and watch Vimeo or Twitch content together in a virtual reality setting. In addition, a new social game called "Social Trivia" has been released, which throws the player and up to four other friends in a virtual room where they compete in games of Trivia. For those looking for a more action-oriented activity to pass the time, Herobound: Gladiators might be the answer. It's a multiplayer adventure game with integrated voice chat, which allows up to four players to team up and do battle against goblins and demons in arenas.
Gaming aside, Oculus Video has been improved as well. Since Facebook is apparently the most used platform for discovering 360-degree videos for VR, a new "Facebook Videos" tab has been added to Oculus Video. Furthermore, starting next week, Samsung Gear VR users will be able to connect their Facebook account with Oculus Video and personalize their feed in order to view and sort through 360-degree videos from people and pages they follow. Oculus also announced that Gear VR owners will be able to share and like Facebook 360 videos within VR in the coming weeks, adding that, later this month, developers will also be treated with new tools to create social VR games and applications with more ease. Last but certainly not least, users can now leave reviews for all applications within the Oculus Store.