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Oculus, the Facebook-owned virtual reality company, is upping its social game by allowing users to create profiles and interact with others on the VR platform.
That capability, offered initially on the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR (shipments of the new Oculus Rift start late this month), includes some made-for-VR games in the Concepts section of the Oculus Store, including Social Trivia, a title that pits up to four competitors, and Herobound: Gladiators, a multiplayer adventure game.
The company has also added a function called “Oculus Social” that lets users create their own rooms to watch Twitch or Vimeo streams with others.
The new Oculus initiative represents a new form of competition for AltspaceVR, a Redwood City, Calif.-backed startup backed by Comcast Ventures and founded in 2013 that has developed a social VR platform that recently launched an app for the Gear VR.
Oculus also announced that users will be able to share Facebook 360 videos from within the VR environment “in the coming weeks,” and that the company will release a new set of tools for developers later this month to help them build social VR games and apps.
Additionally, a new Facebook Video tab on Oculus video will enable users to connect their Facebook accounts with Oculus Video to personalize 360 video feeds based on the pages and people they follow on the social network.