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Unwrapping the Latest Oculus VR Content

Tech Trends went along to Facebook’s Christmas Event in London to try out the best Virtual Reality games and applications for the Oculus Rift.

Tech Trends VR Consultancy Oculus Rift Games Marvel Powers Facebook Spaces

We were invited to an exclusive London event where we got into the festive mood by demoing a range of fun virtual reality content for the Oculus platform.

Tech Trends VR Consultancy Oculus Rift Games Marvel Powers Facebook Spaces

Some of the experiences like Fantastic Beasts I had already tried on other platforms (in this case the Google Daydream) but still good fun. I stand by the fact that casting spells is one of the greatest and most natural applications of VR. It just feels right, and downright wizardly…

Tech Trends VR Consultancy Oculus Rift Games Marvel Powers Facebook Spaces

The other highlight of my visit has to be getting exclusive access to a demo of the Marvel Powers United game, where you get to play The Hulk (SMASH!).

It was very hard not to get entirely carried away with the whole smashing thing, and every once in a while I could feel the attentive minder steering me gently back to my space to stop me from punching a nearby player in the face.

Tech Trends VR Consultancy Oculus Rift Games Marvel Powers Facebook Spaces

The only downside was that the gliding motion made me feel rather queasy, but I am prone to it (which makes my job endlessly interesting).

Whatever marks were lost to the sudden urge to throw up, however, were set off by the fact that the game boasts a (sadly unplayable) character that looks just like my dog Watson. I mean, it’s downright uncanny…

Of course, I spent a large amount of game time just trying to pet it with my huge green hands.

Tech Trends Oculus Rift VR Marvel Cute Dog

The best app for me, however was Facebook Spaces, which I had been waiting to demo properly for a while, given my interest in social VR.

Tech Trends VR Consultancy Oculus Rift Games Marvel Powers Facebook Spaces

Spaces is still very much in Beta, so I try not to hold the cartoony look of the avatars, grainy resolution of some of the environments, and various glitches against it. Like a lot of emerging tech, you sometimes have to use your imagination a bit, and I am most of all excited about the potential for how it could develop in future.

Tech Trends VR Consultancy Oculus Rift Games Marvel Powers Facebook Spaces

The seeds are all there, such as the idea of creating environments that you can invite your friends to and where you can hang out together, or making live video calls using animated avatars (I surprised my husband by springing that one on him during my demo).

Tech Trends VR Consultancy Oculus Rift Games Marvel Powers Facebook Spaces

Often it turns out that the simplest actions are the most pleasing in a VR experience, and with Facebook Spaces it was no different. The best thing for me was the way that the movement of my projected hands felt rather natural, and I was able to high-five my guide — triggering an emoji explosion — grab and use objects such as a pen, fishing rod or selfie stick (which I used to take the picture below) just as I would in real life.

Facebook Spaces VR Tech Trends Consultancy Oculus Rift

And speaking of fishing, the prize for most fun I’ve had in VR for a while definitely belongs to Bait!

This is the result of a collaboration between Facebook Spaces and their first developer partner Resolution Games and it does what it says on the tin. Grab a fishing rod, throw your bait in the water, and wait for an adorable array of fish to bite. Even though I absolutely sucked at it — while my Facebook guide pulled in catch after catch, my line broke the first time, and when I finally managed to catch something, I got so excited I promptly dropped my fish — the physics worked so well it was immensely satisfying. I could definitely see this becoming a thing…

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Originally published at Tech Trends.