When Facebook’s Oculus Quest debuts on May 21, Google’s YouTube VR and its more than one million public VR videos will be available as an app. The app — first launched in 2016 — is already released for Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View. YouTube VR will allow Quest headset wearers to search for videos via voice and find VR (and non-VR) YouTube content with a “VR-optimized interface.” The VR movie theater Bigscreen will also launch on Oculus Quest and the Rift S headsets.
VentureBeat reports that Quest users will also find “at least a million stereoscopic 3D videos with panoramic 360-degree support, along with depth- and distance-based spatial audio” on the YouTube app. Those who have used the YouTube VR app liked its “ease of access to some content, while criticizing it for being limited to 60Hz frame rates, having limited social functionality, and not properly supporting some side-by-side videos.”
The version for Quest, although it will run at the same frame rate, will support room-scale tracking. YouTube hasn’t stated whether the Quest version of the app will differ in other ways from the previous app. Some of Google’s VR content has already won Webby and Clio awards for “a behind-the-scenes VR look at the animated film ‘Isle of Dogs,’ as well as Emmy awards for ‘Crow: The Legend VR,’ ‘Cassini’s Grand Finale 360°,’ and NASA’s first 360-degree livestream.”
Variety reports that the YouTube VR app will also include clips in YouTube’s VR180 video format, and immersive stories, including those produced by Google’s Spotlight Stories studio, which was recently closed. Among the titles that will be available for the Oculus Quest headset, Facebook listed “Beat Saber,” “Dance Central VR,” “Angry Birds VR,” “Dead and Buried 2,” “Fruit Ninja VR,” “Superhot VR” and Google’s “Tilt Brush.”
Engadget reports that Bigscreen, which is free, allows users to watch shows or play video games with other users via a desktop screen-sharing feature, as well as avail themselves of “various virtual environments, such as campfires and movie theaters.” The multiplayer rooms support up to 12 gamers, and Bigscreen offers cross-platform support for the Samsung Gear VR, all SteamVR and all Windows Mixed Reality headsets among others.