And so it begins. When the consumer version of the Oculus Rift launches next year, gaming won’t be the company’s only focus. Thanks to a new partnership with Felix & Paul Studios, Oculus is ensuring it offers a diverse portfolio of content that best highlights what VR can do.
Gaming was always the top priority with the Rift, but movie VR might actually wind up being more important than we think. We’ve already seen some big mainstream studios explore the possibilities of merging film and VR, and we actually got to experience this firsthand last year. It’s something that you have to try to fully appreciate, but it adds an exciting element to storytelling.
With the partnership set in place, it isn’t entirely clear what kind of movies to expect. According to Felix & Paul Studios co-founder, Felix Lajeunesse, “each project born out of our partnership with Oculus will be an occasion to explore VR’s unprecedented potential to immerse viewers in human-driven experiences.” Anything that’s released for Oculus’ more high-end Rift will also be available for the Gear VR, broadening the reach.
The final consumer Rift isn’t going to be available until next year, so don’t expect any of these movie experiences anytime soon. Felix & Paul Studios is already well entrenched in creating VR content—it developed VR tie-ins for Jurassic World and Wild—so we should expect some exciting stuff when these new experiences are released.
If I could make a personal request, I’d ask the studio to consider making a tie-in for The Martian. Imagine how terrifying it would be to get stranded on Mars, all from a first person perspective. The potential for immersive movie tie-ins is endless, and could wind up being one of the best uses for the Rift when it hits next year.