Oculus today announced the launch of a new virtual reality (VR) experience, Oculus TV and as the name suggests, one of the key selling points is its emphasis on TV-based content. With Oculus TV offering owners of the Oculus Go, a dedicated place where they can watch TV content while in VR. Oculus TV is now available to download for existing device owners from the Oculus store, and the company has confirmed all new Oculus Go units purchased will ship with Oculus TV pre-installed.
Oculus TV seems to adopt a very similar approach to a number of similar options where headset owners are placed in a room setting and in front of a large screen. Essentially, creating a theater-like experience within VR. This is the main selling point Oculus is using to promote Oculus TV, with the company stating users can engage with content on a screen that is the “equivalent to a 180-inch TV in real life” while also taking advantage of a design that focuses on “comfortable lounging.” In addition to looking to replicate the living room feel, Oculus pads out this statement by suggesting the portable nature of devices like Oculus Go affords users the option to experience Oculus TV at anytime, and anywhere – providing there is a reliable connection. The interface has also apparently been designed to make it as easy as possible to switch between on-demand and live TV content.
Speaking of content, at present the only confirmed services compatible with Oculus TV at launch are Red Bull TV, Pluto TV, Newsy, Neverthink, and Facebook Watch. Although it’s also compatible with some other streaming services, including HULU, Netflix and SHOWTIME. The difference being Oculus TV does not provide direct access to the content from those apps but is capable of launching them from within the Oculus TV interface. While this list is a little limited at the moment, Oculus does expect it to grow over time with more “streaming apps, broadcast partners” to become available in due course. One of those expected to be added to the compatible list in the near future is ESPN, according to Oculus.