We’re a little early with this month’s platform updates blog, but with today’s round of updates beginning to hit the Rift Public Test Channel (PTC), we just couldn’t hold this news back. New and improved Oculus Avatars plus beta support for some new languages came out on PTC earlier this week (more on that below), and today marks our biggest update since we first opened the Rift Core 2.0 beta in December 2017. Starting today, you can hang out with friends inside Oculus Home!
If you haven’t yet opted in for Rift’s Public Test Channel, click here to get started so you can join in the multiplayer fun during this early testing phase (and to be among the first to try future features and updates)!
From the very beginning, we’ve known that the future of Oculus Home had to be social, and today we’re taking the first steps to realize that vision. Now, those of you who have opted into our Public Test Channel can invite friends over to your Home and hang out in VR.
This initial release has basic functionality and will help us test the multiplayer infrastructure. Over the next several months, we’ll add more features and depth to make Home a great place to spend time with friends regardless of physical distance—and the perfect jumping off point to explore social VR content together.
Be on the lookout for upcoming features like being able to interact with toys and objects together and launching into multiplayer games and experiences with Coordinated App Launch (VR developers can prepare for Coordinated App Launch today by integrating the CAL API). And in the meantime, check out some of the early features available for testing in this week’s Public Test Channel release:
Up to eight people can hang out in the same Home at the same time! For now, your Home is locked for editing when you have visitors over, but we’ll enable object interactivity for multiplayer in a future release.
Broadcasting Oculus Desktop
Ever dreamt of hosting your own movie night from the virtual comfort of your own Oculus Home? Today, that dream becomes a reality! We’ve added experimental support for broadcasting embedded Dash panels, so you can share content from your Oculus Desktop and watch it in real time with your friends.
There are some technical restrictions. For video broadcasting, you’ll need an NVIDIA graphics card with hardware video encoder support, while audio broadcasting requires your Rift audio to be routed to your Rift headphones and your desktop audio routed to elsewhere. Click here to learn more in the Rift Core 2.0 Beta User Guide.
Upgraded Oculus Avatars
You can now customize your Oculus Avatar with new hair, skin shading, clothing, and eyewear design options. After crafting your VR persona, you can take your avatar into a number of apps and games, including Brass Tactics, Epic Rollercoasters, REFLEX UNIT, SportsBar VR, and Drop Dead.
Developers interested in adding the updated Oculus Avatars to their own games, apps, and experiences should update to the latest version of the Avatar SDK.
You can even customize your avatar without ever leaving Home! In this week’s PTC release, you'll find an “Avatar Editor” mirror in the Special Items section of your inventory that you can place anywhere in your space. Teleport to it, press the “Edit Avatar” button, and perfect your look!
By popular request, we’ve added new movement options to Home.
In addition to teleport controls, we’re adding support for walk controls, snap turning, and smooth turning. You can enable the new modes in your Home settings. Please note that while some of the new movement options like Walk Mode and Smooth Turning allow for direct control, they may not be comfortable for everyone.
Earlier this week, we added beta support for several new languages—Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish (Latin America), Spanish (Spain), and Swedish. That means what you see across Dash, Oculus Desktop, and Oculus Home will be localized in more languages than before.
You can change your language settings in the Oculus Desktop app by selecting the “Language Preference” option in the “General” tab on the “Settings” page.
This is just the beginning. We’re taking our first steps toward multiplayer functionality now to get some early testing while we continue working on a host of new social features—and we’d love your help, so let us know what you think! Head over to the Rift Core 2.0 UserVoice Group to share your feedback and help us continue to make Rift better.
— The Oculus Team