AltspaceVR might well be the foundation for social interaction in VR. When we first heard about it last year, CEO Eric Romo described the platform as “Skype with presence,” but it’s evolved since then. A few days after the launch of the Oculus Rift consumer HMD (our full review here), AltspaceVR announced that its virtual platform would support the new device.
In some ways, the news was inevitable. Romo and his team used the DK2 during the development process, and other users had the same HMD during the first round of testing back in 2014.
However, that doesn’t mean that AltspaceVR isn’t exclusive to Oculus’ HMDs. It also works on the HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, Leap Motion and even the Kinect Xbox peripheral. On top of that, it also works cross-platform, so you can interact with friends even if they’re using different HMDs.
For the uninitiated, AltspaceVR provides a way for you to hang out with your friends in virtual reality. By sharing a digital room, your group can hang out and watch videos or play a campaign of Dungeons and Dragons. In addition to the Rift support announcement, the company also mentioned that its latest platform will allow users to connect in the virtual space with a single click, so you can find out more about your friends without having to type long sentences or make multiple gestures.
However, it’s important to note that it's not alone in this niche area of VR experiences. Last month, Oculus added some new features to the Gear VR, one of which was the ability to create a room for you and your friends to hang out, watch videos and play games together (sound familiar?).
Regardless, it seems that AltspaceVR is aiming for a wider audience due to its availability on multiple platforms, along with the fact that it works across various HMDs (as well as traditional 2D screens, actually). If you have a Rift and want to try it out, you can get it for free through AltspaceVR’s website or by downloading it through Steam.
Update, 4/5/16, 10am PT: AltSpaceVR now fully supports the HTC Vive, too.