Virtual reality has had the reputation for being something only for games and entertainment, a perception that VR companies and advocates are trying to dispel with more serious applications. That said, there’s no denying that the technology is perfect for immersive interactive content, at least the kind that puts you in the middle of the action. To shine a spotlight on that market, Facebook-owned Oculus has announced its first-ever showcase dedicated just for VR gaming, probably to help fill in the gap left by canceled in-person events since last year.
Gaming showcases aren’t actually new and, in this sense, Oculus is just catching up with the big names in the gaming market. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have their own regular streamed events, especially the latter’s popular Nintendo Direct. In a way, this event is sending a message that Oculus is a serious gaming platform not to be taken for granted.
Oculus’s announcement is unsurprisingly light on the details, teasing updates to already known titles, never-before-seen updates, and, of course, “a few surprises”. It names a few studios such as Cloudhead Games, Ready At Dawn, and ILMxLAB whose Pistol Whip, Lone Echo II, and Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, respectively, are some of the biggest VR games to come Oculus’s way of late.
This historic Oculus event comes at a time when there has been very little big news in the VR market, especially in terms of new and notable experiences. Oculus has, however, been moving to consolidate its resources and focus on the current Quest 2 standalone headset. The Oculus Rift S has recently been discontinued, marking the end of the PC-tethered system.
The Oculus Gaming Showcase will be streamed on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch on April 21 at 3 PM PT and 6 PM ET. A bit ironically, there is no mention of whether the event will actually be streamed in VR but Oculus device owners will at least be able to watch it on a flat virtual screen while wearing their headsets.