F8 has come to a close, and with that comes a few tentative thoughts on the role of Oculus, Oculus Go, and VR generally in the future. Hazy? Decent? While I am nursing an Innocent smoothie (ed. Innocent is a brand of smoothie; I am unaware whether my drink is sentient enough to know whether it committed a crime or not), here are some of my takeaways:
Oculus Go is really cool. As I said in another article, this will likely be a massive push for mainstream VR, and Oculus has a great hold on the VR market. I can see them owning 2018 unless Microsoft / PlayStation does a surprise announcement at E3, or a competitor enters the ring in late 2018.
No-one will care about the AR camera effects. Fight me.
Oculus Rooms might be a big deal. So with it being revamped, linked to a headset which is much cheaper for use, social VR might get a kick in the right direction. AltspaceVR closed while it lacked support (before being brought back from the dead by Microsoft), but this experiment is likely to continue its next iteration. While it will be experimented on, I won’t be surprised if it turns out to be a fun thing to do with other, equally VR-obsessed friends. But board games in VR, with friends from across the country? I’d dig that.
Oculus TV / Oculus Venues would be a fun gimmick too. Watching a football game by strapping something on your face would be a good novelty, but I am still unconvinced it beats a TV with friends and a couple of pints. Don’t get me wrong, the fact they partnered with NextVR is really damn smart, and the quality of these experiences will be top-notch.
I am likely not the target audience too. According to a Greenlight Insights survey and reported by VRScout, 77% of VR headset owners today interested in interacting socially with other people in VR and watching video ranking high on social VR activities. The audience is there, and Facebook is going all-in for it.