Facebook, the parent company of Oculus, have announced that they have added support for HTC Vive to their virtual reality social app, Facebook Spaces. This comes as a surprise, considering Oculus’s penchant for exclusivity in the past, where they stick to their own store and platforms in order to drive sales.
However, this move makes sense, since Facebook Spaces is at its core an extension of the social network and a social app can’t exactly thrive by blocking off a large chunk of its potential user base. “VR is such a powerful way to feel present with the people you care about when you can’t physically be together. With Facebook Spaces, we’ve always been committed to bringing the power of social VR to as many people as possible, across platforms and devices,” said Facebook’s head of social VR, Rachel Rubin Franklin in a post.
Check out the trailer below:
But Facebook won’t be stopping there. They’re planning on bringing Spaces to even more VR platforms in the future – also a sensible move. “This is our first expansion onto a new platform, but it’s only the beginning: We’re working to bring Facebook Spaces to even more VR platforms and devices in the future, so stay tuned,” Rachel continued.
Let’s Go Fishing Together
So what exactly can you do with Facebook Spaces? Well, if you’re new to the app then you can check out all of its offerings (which is the same for the Rift and Vive) on the Facebook Spaces site, where you can also download the app. But the Cliff Notes version is thus; you can create your own avatar, take selfies, make Messenger video calls, go Live on Facebook, view Facebook photos and 360 videos, draw with markers, and play games. And notably, on that last point, Facebook has also recently introduced third-party app developers to Spaces so that they can broaden their offering of experiences and games. The third-party game has already been released as well – a social fishing game by Sweden-based studio, Resolution Games, called Bait! Arctic Open. Facebook also said that cross-platform play will also be fully supported by the Spaces app.
So Rift and Vive owners, better kiss and make up because you really don’t have any excuses to not become friends now. A little social fishing next to the virtual water will save all apparently.
Too bad I hate fishing.
Facebook isn’t the first social network to add support for HTC Vive this week either, since Google announced that the Youtube VR app now also supports the platform natively and can be downloaded for free via Steam.