Netflix believes VR is better suited to gaming than video streaming
Don't expect to see unique VR content from Netflix anytime soonBy Cohen Coberly
When consumer virtual reality devices first hit the market, plenty of optimists felt the technology would revolutionize the way we interact with entertainment. However, high costs for high-end devices such as the Oculus Rift have deterred many entertainment lovers from getting in on the action.
Fortunately for those users, that's where mobile VR comes in. Mobile VR headsets such as the Google Daydream or the Samsung Gear VR tend to offer smaller, more limited-in-scope experiences that don't require high-end PC hardware, additional wires or room-scale sensors to function.
With that in mind, it may seem like a no-brainer for a company like Netflix to take full advantage of the more laid-back nature of mobile VR. However, while the streaming giant did release a VR app for their service back in 2015, they haven't done much with the medium as a whole since.
Indeed, as of writing, the Netflix VR app sits at 2/5 stars on the Google Play store with 1659 total reviews. Many reviewers have criticized the app for its unintuitive interface and its many bugs.
Unfortunately for Netflix VR fans with similar frustrations, the company doesn't seem interested in expanding the app's functionality anytime soon. As reported by Engadget, at a recent media event Netflix CPO Greg Peters said the company primarily views the VR industry as a medium geared more towards gaming than casual Netflix viewing.
Specifically, Peters reportedly believes the very nature of VR makes it difficult to have a "lean-back" experience like the one Netflix strives to give its users. As such, while Netflix isn't completely ruling out the possibility of a VR push in the future, it seems they don't plan to be the one leading the charge.
Instead, Peters says the company plans to simply wait and see where the industry goes before committing to it any further.