Samsung Gear VR users will soon be able to download and use YouTube VR, Google's subsidiary said earlier this week. New content is also on the way and there's at least one new feature that should make YouTube VR much more enjoyable for groups of friends or family. Tying into that, the biggest change appears to be support for Samsung's Gear VR headset. At some point within the next week, according to Google's announcement, Gear VR owners will be able to participate in viewing the more than 800,000 virtual experiences already present on the platform. That means that Gear VR users will be able to join owners of Google's own Daydream View, HTC's Vive, and Sony's PlayStation VR in the above-mentioned group sessions. As with those other hardware offerings, the application will be completely free to download but users will need to download the app directly from the Oculus Store.
With regard to the new feature, that appears to be available right now and allows a "communal" virtual space to be created for users to watch and discuss videos together in real time in VR. Accessing the feature is relatively straightforward. Google hasn't said whether every YouTube VR video will be compatible but, for those that are, a new "Watch Together" icon has been added directly below the playback controls. Users will be able to create or join a "party" following on-screen prompts. From there, users will be able to see avatars for members of the party, animated indicators when a member is talking, and a thumbnail view of what they're looking at or what video they are watching.
Last but not least, Google plans to new content including add backstage and other music experiences starting with Portugal. The Man and Hayley Kiyoko. That's part of a new 'VR180 Rockstar VR' series. Another series, called 'The Female Planet,' that follows "global female leaders" is set to be launched as well. The first episode will feature Ibtihaj Muhammad, who is an activist, entrepreneur, and Olympic bronze medalist in fencing. Meanwhile, SoKrispyMedia has new content that places viewers in an action-filled game world with a racing experience. Users in that experience must try to escape a game-breaking glitch before time runs out.