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Oculus’s latest virtual reality headset, the Oculus Go, is now available for purchase and will launch with over 1,000 apps on its platform. At Facebook’s F8 developer conference today, the VR group showed off how users will be able to watch TV together and play Hasbro board games.
Facebook vice president of VR Hugo Barra took the stage to introduce Oculus TV, which puts users in a virtual living room with a TV screen where they can watch shows together. It launches this month and will feature content from ESPN, Netflix, Hulu, and Showtime.
“You get this ginormous virtual TV in your living room that’s equivalent to a 180-inch screen in reality, and it works just like the best smart TVs out there,” said Barra. “Use the controller to change channels, navigate around, and choose between live and on-demand content. And starting this summer, you’ll be able to invite friends, cousins, and grandparents to have a watch party in VR wherever they are in the world.”
To replicate the movie-going experience as well as events like concerts and sports matches, Oculus is introducing Oculus Venues. It has partnered with companies like NextVR, Lionsgate, and the NBA to bring showings and live events to virtual reality, and it will have a kick-off live concert from indie pop band Vance Joy on May 30.
Barra also showed off a new version of Oculus Rooms with a redesigned virtual hangout spot where users can socialize. The company has teamed up with Hasbro to introduce branded board games like Boggle and Trivial Pursuit for people to play inside the VR experience.
All of Oculus’s announcements today have echoed its parent company Facebook’s attitude that social is better. But for social to work, it needs to get people into these virtual spaces. Industry analyst SuperData Research predicts that its latest headset will have promising numbers:
“Oculus Go will sell 1.8 million devices over the next three quarters, with an expected surge during the holiday season,” said SuperData vice president of strategy and head of XR Stephanie Llamas.
At its lowest price of $200, it costs less than the Rift as well as competitors like the HTC Vive.