Oculus today announced it will offer an immersive livestream during the company’s annual Oculus Connect developer conference, including coverage of the opening keynote and several VR esports championships hosted during the event. Owners of the Oculus Go or Gear VR headsets can join the immersive livestream via the Oculus Venues app which is unfortunately not available to the company’s desktop-based users who own the Oculus Rift.
Continuing a trend of an awkwardly incohesive product ecosystem which does little to allow users of its mobile and desktop headsets to engage with one another, Oculus today announced a schedule of immersive livestreams that will offer some sense of virtual attendance to Oculus Connect. Through the Oculus Venues app, which is only available on Gear VR and Go, users will be able to tune in to the following events:
- September 26th
- 10AM PT: Oculus Connect 5 keynote
- 12AM–5PM PT: Esports coverage begins
- 6PM–10PM PT: Onward Grand Finals
- September 27th
- 10AM PT: Oculus CTO John Carmack Unscripted Keynote
- 12PM–4PM PT: Echo Arena Grand Finals
Oculus has partnered with immersive content company Supersphere to produce the VR livestreams for Oculus Connect. Through Oculus Venues users will have a social viewing experience where they can see and talk to other users watching the broadcast simultaneously.
“For the keynotes, we’ll focus on switching live 180° cameras on the speakers, along with graphics integration. The esports tournaments will blend live cameras and multiple gaming inputs. We’ll also debut brand-new technology that creates immersive outputs from the game engines themselves, for a true 180°/360° observer view of the gameplay,” said Lucas Wilson, Supersphere’s Founder & Executive Producer. “This is the first time that viewers will be inside this rich, more immersive look at gameplay. We worked closely with the talented teams at Facebook, Oculus, and ESL to build a complete set of immersive environments that fans will love.”
From Wilson’s description, it sounds like this will be the most advanced and produced livestream to come from Oculus Connect yet. The ability to get streaming views from inside the games themselves sounds very interesting, but the irony can’t be escaped that—despite that it’s Rift games being broadcast—Rift users won’t be able to see these immersive views for themselves as Oculus Venues is not available on the Rift.
Oculus instead suggests that Rift users consider jumping inside Oculus Home where they could virtually visit with other Rift users (but not friends using Go or Gear VR) while watching the standard 2D livestream from the event. A half-hearted consolation for what is arguably the company’s most engaged userbase.
Oculus Connect 5 will be held next week in San Jose, CA on September 26th & 27th at the McEnery Convention Center.