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Oculus shuts down movie purchases for Rift users, says the device is 'primarily for gaming'

By Polycount · 16 replies
Oct 23, 2018
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  1. Oculus has revealed that it will be shutting down its Oculus Video app for Rift users, and "reimbursing" customers who've purchased content through the app in the past. This essentially terminates the ability for the device's users to purchase or rent movies (third-party apps may still fill that niche, however).

    Oculus' reasoning behind its decision is as follows:

    "Over the years, we’ve seen how people use VR for everything from gaming to movies, and it’s become clear that while people love to stream immersive media on other devices, Rift is used primarily for gaming. These insights inform how we support new and existing features and apps across the platform."

    To be clear, these changes only affect the Rift, not the Oculus VR ecosystem as a whole. The company's other devices, such as the Oculus Go or the Samsung Gear VR, will retain access to the Video app for the foreseeable future.

    This news will probably be bittersweet for long-term Rift users. One one hand, Oculus' admission that the Rift's core fanbase primarily consists of gamers could mean the company will shift its software development to suit that audience in the future. On the other hand, the Video app undoubtedly had a solid user base, even if it was comparatively small.

    Said user base might feel like Oculus is pulling the rug out from under them without much warning; after all, the Video app is being canned on November 20, which doesn't give users much longer to enjoy the content they've purchased to date.

    Permalink to story.


    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,740   +827

    Who cares if it isn't hurting anything? Let people do what they want with their devices...

    That being said, I agree the Rift is for gaming. In fact, I don't think I'd want to use any VR that squeezes my face for viewing video. When you are gaming and moving around you don't really notice the thing on your face very much, but when I'm just trying to watch TV or a movie, it is definitely a lot more noticeable. Not only that, but it isn't high enough resolution to be a pleasant experience anyhow. Watching an "HD" movie in VR is actually detracting from the quality, and 4K content is an even bigger detraction.

    Get me a 12K per eye VR that straps to your head and not your face, like the WMR headsets and then it would probably be worth watching movies on it.
    Reehahs and Godel like this.
  3. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,473   +1,046

    This doesn't make any sense to me. Why would they remove it just for 1 device?

    It shouldn't be a licensing deal that they're not being profitable on, since they still will have the video app on other devices.
    Or pulling it because of updates, because (again) it's still on other devices. Compatibility shouldn't be that big of a deal.

    I cannot see an angle where this is smart, and not lazy.
  4. amghwk

    amghwk TS Guru Posts: 545   +330

    Movie licensing costs, I guess. Otherwise I can't think of a valid reason to simply pull this off. The reason they give is absurd.
  5. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,967   +580

    Owned by Zuckerberg the little weasel. Not surprised.
  6. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,529   +1,987

    Don't talk like it had anything to do with Faceboobs. They just can't compete with the likes of Netflix or even Youtube Premium and were probably loosing money form the whole thing.
  7. McMurdeR

    McMurdeR TS Addict Posts: 150   +118

    That's the issue with iot devices - they can pull core features after you've been sucked in.
  8. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,529   +1,987

    I don't think that's what IOT is about and this wasn't a "core" feature. Just another streaming service for movies that currently has better alternatives.
  9. MaikuTech

    MaikuTech TS Evangelist Posts: 1,074   +188

    And here I was thinking I could watch Hell Raiser 2 on it in the near time future when the prices start to fall.

  10. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,537   +3,915

    Looks to me like one step closer to chapter 11 ........
  11. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Guru Posts: 414   +265

    Originally I was happy to buy an Oculus, but it got really boring really fast. It's a cool thing to show off to friends, but honestly outside of that, I didn't have a lot of fun playing it. If the displays were of higher quality without the "screen door effect" and the lack of sharpness, I'd be all over it. Also with the cancellation of the Oculus 2, I feel like now is the time to sell the device on ebay and throw in the towel on VR for now. Even HTC is having issues with the Vive units not selling well.
    MaikuTech likes this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,740   +827

    Certainly understandable... the low resolution and high cost for these headsets is the biggest setback for going mainstream. It really shouldn't cost so much for what equates to some plastic, two displays, and two lenses and a connection interface but companies have to recover money spent on R&D. Additionally there isn't a lot of good VR games out there compared to standard display games. Even if the Oculus and Vive were just say, $100; I doubt the market would expand that much. I do think if some of the big dogs and their AAA titles embraced VR it would help, but you'd need both of these things to happen and, well, it just isn't going to. At least not in the next few years.

    That being said there are some old games which have been adapted to work in VR and I must say I've been having a ton of fun playing Doom 3 in VR. Plus there are some really promising new VR games like Vox Machinae that provide a truly excellent VR experience. If you haven't already checked it out you should.
  13. DubiousFishHook

    DubiousFishHook TS Member Posts: 26

    Rofl. I've been gaming for decades but I want VR for movies only, In my world waving my arms to play a game like with the Wii isnt gaming, its for the super noobs.
  14. MaikuTech

    MaikuTech TS Evangelist Posts: 1,074   +188

    Well when you large tv-monitor screens like we have today whats the point of needing a vr ?
    I wasn't really for vr sure its not see a game world in panaramic setting.
    Sadly like you said it gets boring quickly.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,740   +827

    I question whether the last two posters have even tried PC-based VR... Apart from the low resolution screens and not actually feeling objects you are manipulating, the sensation of being inside that game world is pretty damn good. If you prefer more relaxing, only have to move your fingers gaming experience then that's fine, there is nothing wrong with that. And sure a big screen is nice and it is easier to see things, but you are not getting that three dimensional depth and flexibility of free motion that you get in VR. Big screens are not even in the same territory when it comes to immersion inside the game world.
  16. MaikuTech

    MaikuTech TS Evangelist Posts: 1,074   +188

    I tried the vr set in best buy, its not all that great especially at its current prices. -_-

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,740   +827

    Well think of it another way... you want to play some games so you go buy BIG monitor or TV (thinking 40" or bigger), and a nice keyboard and mouse, maybe a joystick and gamepad as well. You can easily spend $300-500 on that stuff. The Oculus Rift for example is $400, you're essentially getting a big screen there as it takes up most of your field of view, and you're getting nice controllers which can be used in most VR games, a perfectly capable replacement for keyboard, mouse, joystick, and gamepad.

    VR is a completely different feel, it doesn't compare to a big screen setup. And I've been gaming on a 37" and 40" 1080p TV's for almost 10 years now. It just doesn't compare to the 3D perception and interactivity level provided by VR.

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