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If you’re planning to buy an Oculus Quest, and wondering whether there will be sufficient content to keep you entertained on its May 21 launch day, good news: YouTube VR will be available as a Quest launch app, which means that over a million public VR videos and experiences will be available through Google’s service alone.
Already released for Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, Samsung Gear VR, and Google’s own Daydream View platform, the YouTube VR app offers headset wearers the ability to search for videos by voice, as well as accessing both VR- and non-VR YouTube content through a VR-optimized interface. While Quest users will be able to view untold millions of standard rectangular videos, they’ll also have access to at least a million stereoscopic 3D videos with panoramic 360-degree support, along with depth- and distance-based spatial audio.
Users of the Oculus Go version of YouTube VR have praised the app’s 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. While the Quest version will run at the same frame rate, it will support room-scale tracking for enhanced freedom of motion within VR environments. Apart from that, it’s unclear at this stage how much the Quest version of the app will differ from the Go release.
Google notes that some of its VR content has already won awards, including 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° livestream. Budding VR creators in Europe can apply to a YouTube VR creator lab to learn about the VR180 standard and cameras, as well as receive $20,000 in funding to produce a VR video.
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