Watching streaming apps inside VR is great, but it’s missing one vital component: your friends. With the help of Oculus, Hulu is looking to change that.
The streaming service just announced it is updating its support for the Gear VR headset today with integration added for Oculus Rooms. That means you’ll be able to meet up with other friends in Rooms’ hangout spaces with personalized avatars to watch Hulu content together, be it the 360 videos offered for free, or the entire library of films and TV shows featured in a Hulu subscription.
That’s a pretty big step forward for the app; imagine watching VR content with friends who are physically far away from the comfort of your own sofa. We’ve already seen this concept with third-party apps like Bigscreen, which works by mirroring your computer screen in a virtual world and not through official integration.
That’s not the only update to Oculus’ versions of the Hulu app. On Rift, the app now also supports the Oculus Touch controllers, giving you another way to navigate its interface. You can also bring your Rift avatars into the experience, presumably so that they are there and ready for when Rooms launches on the PC-based headset later this year.
The app is also available on PlayStation VR and Google Daydream, but doesn’t support these features there just yet. If they were to get social support, then they likely wouldn’t be using Oculus’ own features.
As far as we know, Hulu is the first VR streaming app to feature this option. Netflix was the first streaming app to get VR, launching alongside the consumer Gear VR in late 2015, but that only allows you to watch content by yourself. We’ve yet to test out Hulu’s Rooms integration for ourselves, but assuming it works well then this is a feature we’d likely start to see pop up more and more.