The VR Market is growing fast. In less than 6 months, Oculus and Samsung have taken a medium that didn’t exist in the consumer market and turned it into a growing ecosystem of games and content with over 1 million monthly users.
Oculus revealed that over 1 million unique users logged in to Oculus Home on Gear VR in April—and that doesn’t take into account everyone they shared the HMD with. VR Games are the first thing many people think about when considering what VR would be used for, but Oculus said that the majority of its users are also consuming immersive video content. Seven of the top 10 apps for Gear VR are video content; nearly 80 percent of Gear VR users watch video content with the device. An audience of 800,000 potential viewers is a decent size for content creators, and there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of videos coming.
Felix & Paul Studios debuted its 360-degree 3D-video reality series, Nomads, on the Oculus Home Gear VR marketplace. Nomads will be a recurring series about the lives of nomadic people from around the globe. The first three episodes are out today and cover yak herders from Mongolia, Maasai warriors from Kenya, and the Bajau people from Borneo. Oculus also revealed that Discovery Channel’s hit show Deadliest Catch will be making its virtual reality debut next week on the Discovery VR app.
If 360-degree video is that popular, it stands to reason that 360-degree photos would be a hit on Gear VR, too. Oculus said that its parent company, Facebook, will be launching native support for 360-degree panoramic photos “in the coming weeks.” If you have a Samsung phone, a “View in VR” button will be visible that lets you view the images with Gear VR.
The Gear VR content library now includes over 250 games and experiences. The Oculus Home interface, on the other hand, hasn’t been updated at all; it functions, but it's klunky. Oculus Home is not well suited for searching for the content in that you have in your library, and it's not much better for finding new content in the marketplace.
That appears to be changing. Oculus didn’t go into specifics, but it said that in June, Oculus Home will get some much needed updates that aid in navigating through your content. Oculus will release the first part of the update this week. The Oculus mobile app’s library has been redesigned, and the store will have a “What’s New” section.
Finding content on Oculus Home will soon be easier. Let’s hope that the friends list will get some much needed updates soon, too.