Remember that friends list you made back when you got your Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Rift? Yeah. It’s been pretty useless. Today Oculus announced that they’ll soon be turning on social with the help of two new social app functions.
Lauren Vegter, Oculus platform product manager, took the stage today at Oculus Connect to introduce Parties—allowing you to chat with friends on your friend’s list, and Rooms—a social VR hangout for up to 8 people.
While Parties allows you to message and connect up to 8 people for a voice chat, the real feature is Rooms which allows those 8 friends to watch video together (provided by Facebook), listen to music, and and play social mini-games.
From there, you can gather around an app launcher in Oculus Rooms so everyone can get into the same game or experience at the same time. Oculus is offering developers the coordinated app launch API so they can integrate it into their multiplayer games and experiences.
Vegter reports that both Parties and Rooms will be coming to Gear VR in a few weeks, and to Oculus Rift in early 2017. It’s unsure at this time what will become of Oculus Social beta.