YouTube VR Is Now Available for Gear VR on Facebook’s Oculus Store
More than 12.4 million VR headsets are expected to ship this year, up from eight million through 2017. Stand-alone devices, such as the Gear VR, have gained serious momentum and Google is looking to tap into this trend with the release of its own YouTube VR app on the Oculus store. The app has long been available for Daydream and Sony Playstation owners and on Steam for those who have HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. The app lets viewers experience their favorite YouTube channels, videos and creators in VR by turning every video on the platform into a VR experience.
While YouTube’s VR app currently doesn’t support Oculus Go, it is available for Gear VR users at Facebook’s Oculus store. According to Google, the company is working to bring YouTube VR to “more VR platforms in the future.” The tech goliath has previously released Google Earth for the Oculus store and, last year, acquired Owlchemy Labs, the company behind the hugely popular VR game Job Simulator.
YouTube VR lets users explore every video on the platform, from standard 2D videos to 3D 360-degree videos that puts the viewer at the center of the action. Viewers can also experience spatial audio, where distance and depth determine what you hear, depending on where you look. Google has announced a new VR180 format that relies on dual-lens cameras to capture higher quality content. It is also experimenting with projects that may lead to videos that can respond to where you look.
Daydream View and Gear VR users can now experiment with YouTube’s new Watch Together feature. Headset users can click on the Watch Together icon beneath the play controls and begin to watch and discuss videos with others in a virtual, communal space.
The release of the YouTube VR app further strengthens Google’s investment in VR. YouTube has already released over 800,000 virtual experiences with plans to release more in the latter half of 2018.