PC- and PlayStation 4-powered VR headsets may have their detractors, but one of the better elements is their ability to display the user's point-of-view via an external screen. It’s a feature that hasn’t been available on smartphone-based systems like the Gear VR, but that’s now changing.
Yesterday, Oculus added Chromecast support to Samsung’ Gear VR headset, allowing users to stream their VR experience directly to a compatible TV in real-time. All that’s required is the latest version of both the Oculus mobile app and Android, and you’ll be able to share what you’re seeing using a nearby Cast-enabled device that’s on the same Wi-Fi network.
While it obviously won’t immerse viewers in the same way as wearing the headset, it’s much better than having to watch someone flail about without knowing what’s going on. Oculus says the new feature will add a social element to mobile VR and is a great way to introduce people to virtual reality.
Chromecast support will also be helpful for developers looking to show off their games. But whether it encourages more people to buy a Gear VR remains to be seen. The responses on Oculus’ announcement page, however, are overwhelmingly positive.
While Oculus says the Gear VR is currently the only headset to support Chromecast, Google will be bringing the feature to its Daydream VR platform when the 2.0 update – codenamed Daydream Euphrates – arrives later this year.
The Gear VR feature is slowly being rolled out, so it could take a while before you see the Cast option in the Oculus app.