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Oculus Venues only landed on Quest back in June, uniting Quest and Go users under the same social VR event viewing platform. Now it appears Facebook is giving the app a makeover in preparation for their upcoming flagship social VR offering, Facebook Horizon.
Now simply named Venues, an early access beta version of the social VR app is currently rolling out. The app is being released to only a few users at this time though, so you may not find that big blue ‘Download’ button on Venue’s new Oculus Store page.
Although likely still a work in progress, many of the avatars appear to be very similar, if not identical, to the ones seen in Facebook Horizon promo material.
Facelift notwithstanding, Facebook is still using Venues for social live event viewing, including sports, concerts, and standup comedy. Although we haven’t had a chance to go hands-on yet, the Beta Early Access version seems to include a more robust avatar creator and multiple environments, including lobbies for informal chats and more intimate viewing areas for groups.
Notably, Venues still requires a Facebook login, something that seems to have created a backlash from users on the original app, which may explain its nearly a [2/5] star rating. That’s unlikely to change, as Facebook Horizon inevitably brings Oculus users ever closer to the mothership.
Neither Facebook Horizon nor the new Venues have general release dates yet, so there’s no telling how the two will hook into each other. We’re hoping to learn more at Oculus Connect 7, which will be held digitally this year.
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