Hype for VR may have started to die down a bit, but software development applied to the various hardware platforms continues apace, and that includes YouTube VR. Yesterday it announced it would be coming to Samsung’s Gear VR headsets this week, and it is also introducing a new way to share VR experiences called “Watch Together,” which will allow YouTube VR users to watch and discuss content in a shared virtual space. A handful of new exclusive content will also be coming to the platform.
Although YouTube VR has already been available on Google’s Daydream View headset, the HTC Vive, and Playstation VR, Samsung’s Gear headsets have been left out of the fun until now. The YouTube VR app should be arriving in the Oculus Store starting this week, so if you’ve got a headset, keep an eye out.
The new Watch Together feature will allow you to get your friends together to watch VR content in a sort of digital room—a sort of dystopian virtual sofa to share as you all watch the VR TV together. It will also let you chat with your buds via mic while you watch VR media, and you can share content to the room for the audience to enjoy in sync.
VR content isn’t quite so ubiquitous as traditional video, but YouTube VR is happy to reveal that the platform has over “800,000 experiences in the virtual world,” presumably meaning there’s around 4/5ths of a million bits of VR content available via the service. That’s not a whole lot, but the selection is expanding, and it’s quick to point out that a bunch of new exclusive content like backstage videos of Portugal. The Man and Hayley Kiyoko, as well as a new episode of Female Planet about Ibtihaj Muhammad at the Olympics.
VR isn’t the news-dominating hype machine it once was, but it’s still an expanding market, and products like YouTube VR are keeping that virtual ball rolling.