Bigscreen, the social VR app that lets you mirror your desktop monitor in virtual reality, and share it with friends, has received a new update which adds three new “Big Room” environments which support up to 12 players simultaneously (up from the previous four). The host of a Big Room can broadcast anything from their PC for all others to see, essentially creating a giant viewing party.

Update (2/15/18): Bigscreen today rolled out the ‘Big Rooms Update‘ to all users, allowing anyone to host a Big Room in one of three new environments. In Big Rooms, only the host can share their desktop (in normal sized rooms, everyone can share their desktops together); Bigscreen advises that the host will require upload bandwidth of at least 10 Mbps.

In addition to Big Room access for all, the update also brings what the company calls “significant” CPU and GPU performance improvements. This was achieved with most of the rooms being rebuilt for more efficient rendering. Furthermore, while each additional user in a room could add 5–15% more CPU usage, new users now cost almost no additional CPU work, according to the company.

Original Article (12/14/17): Since its 2016 launch, Bigscreen has supported up to 4 people per room, making the experiences decidedly more intimate than some of its social VR contemporaries. Still, the app is so far unique in its ability to let up to 4 users stream their own monitors to each other, allowing for smaller shared viewing sessions and “virtual LAN parties,” as the company puts it.

Image courtesy Bigscreen

While the app has improved its ease-of-use, avatar builder, and has been overhauled to bring streaming video quality to a max of 1080p 30 fps, the number of users allowed in a single room has remained the same.

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These regular 4-person rooms will still exist moving forward, but now you have the choice of creating a normal room, or a ‘Big Room’, which will give the room’s creator sole access to the main viewing screen, letting you stream a movie, create a virtual meetup or conference, or watch a livestream of an eSports tournament with a much larger number of users.

Although the official announcement doesn’t specify the exact max number of users allowed in one room, the Big Rooms update is said to support “dozens” of people in the same shared space.

a ‘Big Room’ hosted on the penthouse roof, image courtesy Bigscreen

Founder and CEO of Bigscreen Darshan Shankar says that all rooms are peer-to-peer encrypted, meaning both voice chat and desktop screens “stream directly to friends in the room. Your data doesn’t stream through our servers, which is great for privacy. You can invite many friends into your Big Room, depending on your Internet speed (upload bandwidth).”

You can download Bigscreen for free on Steam for Vive and Rift, or Oculus Home for Rift.

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  • As simple as this app may be, it is such a useful tool. I can’t wait to check out this update!

  • Facts

    Oh cool now I can co-op porn watching, it takes two to jack off, there is no I in team, this is the future I’ve waited for. Take my money.

    • nekrololi

      Get your degenerate bs out of here

      • Facts

        Lol

  • WyrdestGeek

    BigScreen might just be the bridge that gets us to a Metaverse type future.

    Maybe.

    Anyway they said they plan to support (my crappy) Samsung Gear VR in the coming year. I’m looking forward to that.

  • Ragbone

    One of the best VR apps in existence currently. I hope more and more nice environments keep getting added, with lots of different genres.

    If they added a big conference room, businesses could use that :D

    • nekrololi

      This and emuvr are the most exciting projects atm

      • Ragbone

        Cool, I haden’t heard of emuvr but it looks good on the website.

        • nekrololi

          It’s probably one of the coolest things I have ever seen.
          Instead of playing roms on a boring emulator that only occupies your screen, you can take roms and turn them into cartridges and discs to place around your room then play on a 90s style crt tv. The room you play in is decorated like a 1990s era bedroom with posters and all.
          Bless the developers behind that project, it truly is a masterful work of art.

          • Ragbone

            You should also check out new retro arcade neon. Similar but the roms and stuff are in a virtual arcade.

  • Wow, great!

  • Lucidfeuer

    “peer-to-peer encrypted” I think that, at least in the beginning, this is going to be an obligatory component of social VR apps. We all created alt-accounts on Oculus because of how aggressively intrusive it is by forcing you to appear online to your contacts and not being able to disconnect, as well as tracking your mic, interaction and datas with the runtime…