The 69th Emmy Awards nominations are out, and while it’s true the Emmys were created to recognize excellence in the television industry, virtual reality as a medium has been lauded with six total nominations this year, three of which are thanks to content created by Oculus.

There isn’t an official ‘VR’ section of the Emmys, rather the nominations have been spread between two categories: ‘Outstanding Original Interactive Program’ and ‘Outstanding Creative Achievment in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program’.

Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media Within A Scripted Program

  • The Mr. Robot Virtual Reality Experience USA Universal Cable Productions, Here Be Dragons, Esmail Corp. and
    Anonymous Content (360 video on YouTube)
  • Stranger Things VR Experience – Netflix – Netflix and CBS Digital (360 video on YouTube)
  • The Simpsons – Planet Of The Couches – – Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television and Google Spotlight Stories (download here for Google Cardboard)

Outstanding Original Interactive Program

image courtesy Oculus

Oculus’ Henry, the company’s Pixar-esque VR cartoon that follows the woes of a lonely hedgehog, won the 2016 Emmy for Outstanding Original Interactive Program, becoming the first VR original narrative to do so. While the company’s production studio Oculus Story Studios—which saw the release of LostHenry, and Dear Angelica—is now shuttered, Oculus says they’re earmarking $50 million of the $250 million they recently committed to invest in VR content exclusively for external investments in “non-gaming, experiential VR content.”

2D to 3D Photo Conversion in visionOS 2 is the Real Deal

This effectively means Oculus will be funneling funds away from internal production in order to further grow the nascent industry of VR-based narratives. There’s no word on whether these $50 million will come with platform exclusivity however, although it would make sense from a business perspective for Oculus to do so. More high-quality, exclusive content on the Oculus Store equates to a high perceived value in their growing milieu of VR headsets, possibly including a reported Oculus-branded $200 standalone VR headset to come next year.

We’ll be tuning in to this year’s Emmy Awards on September 17th at 5PM PT (local time here). Check out the full list of this year’s Emmy nominations here.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Dotcommer

    Platform exclusivities will be the death of VR. Facebook is crippling this industry by being uncooperative. The biggest earners in the VR industry are cross platform games. There’s a reason Vive has sold so many more headsets and has so much more content than Oculus.

    • Justos

      Boo hoo, its a 5 minute movie. you realize cross platform games are up to the developer and not oculus right?

      Also, im not so sure vive has a larger marketshare anymore. Just saying.

    • Ted Joseph

      I have to disagree with these comments. I “had” all three VR systems – Vive, Rift, and PSVR. I sold both the Vive, and the PSVR. The reason is, I couldnt play VR Sports, Chronos, Lucky’s Tale, Robo Recall, Rock Band VR (amazing experience) on the other platforms. I also like the touch controllers over all others currently (although the knuckle controllers look cool). The reason I kept the Rift was BECAUSE of the exclusives. Just like consoles have exclusives to boost sales, I see no issue with Rift doing the same…

      • J.C.

        What I don’t get is WHY they’re still hardware-exclusive. I’ve said dozens of times, I think Oculus has the better VR store, due to not letting 6,000 vr experiments to be sold as “games”. Also, obviously, the exclusive games.

        They’re clearly not interested in making a profit on the hardware. If they want my money, all they need to do is directly support my headset. ReVive is actually hurting this eventuality by giving Oculus a crutch. If NO Vive owners could access their store, they’d be far more interested in getting them onto it. Unfortunately, people use ReVive, buying games on a store that will simply say “welp, too bad” if ReVive or the game doesn’t work right, or stops working at some point.

        Next time someone interviews Luckey, now that he’s not part of Facebook, I hope they have the stones to ask if it’s Oculus or HTC’s fault that there’s no direct support. Both have claimed it’s a holdout on the other company’s part. There are flimsy arguments for either possibility. In the end, this sort of horseshit is what hurts early adoption numbers, and neither side is willing to see it.

    • impurekind

      So, they made these animations entirely in-house and funded them completely themselves, and you think they should just release them on other platforms?

      If the likes of Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony can release their own first party games on their systems only then so can Oculus.

  • impurekind

    Dear Angelica utterly deserves an award. It’s literally a work of art.

  • Dear Angelica could move in tears even The Rock. Deserves all the Emmies of this world