If you have an Oculus Rift, its time to get excited about updates. During the recent Oculus Connect 4 developer conference, Oculus announced we were getting a complete overhaul of the Oculus Home experience. Today they’ve announced their Oculus desktop app is also getting an overhaul.
Launching as part of the Rift Core 2.0 beta release next month, the new design will give users an easier path to discover games, experiences and connect with friends in and out of VR.
In the screenshot (above) we see a substantially refined experience over the current Oculus desktop app. The top starts with a large hero background for a featured ‘new update’ title. This is backed up with additional feature tiles that suggest / promote ‘on sale, newly updated and ‘spotlight’ titles.
The next set of tiles are referred to as ‘Jump Back In’, suggesting you can resume recently played titles easy, which is actually a really welcome inclusion, its something that’s a little clunky right now.
The next two sections, ‘Hang out with Friends’ and ‘Make new friends’ delivers on their strategy to connect you with more people. Typically this is something done poorly right now. You really have to have offline connections with people to find out which of your friends have a Rift, but in reality, using the power of Facebook’s social graph, these recommendations for connections to other Rift players on your social graph should be an easy task for Facebook-owned Oculus.
We then see a section for ‘From your wishlist’ which is clearly an opportunity to remind you of additional VR titles you wish you owned, in the hope you will hit the buy button.
This is all wrapped up with a final section of ‘New releases’. Ultimately the new UI, from what we know about it today, looks to be an important, positive update for the platform. Given other platforms like the Xbox offer customisation UI’s to suit user preferences, lets hope Oculus heads in a similar direction. Personally I’d like the ability to add a section that highlights games and experiences in specific categories, or perhaps by Australian developers.
The updated UI includes:
- Oculus Updates: The latest Oculus news, improvements, and features.
- Oculus Store: Featured titles, the latest releases, sales, and (new!) quick access to Wishlists—now you can add and remove apps, view your Wishlists in Library, and get notified when saved apps go on sale.
- Your Library: Quick access to launch your most recently played titles.
- Friends: View the apps your friends own or have recently played so you can play together, and see friends of friends to connect with new players.
How-To: Beta Access
The update will roll out to the Public beta test channel first (currently in private testing). If you want to be one of the first to get Rift Core 2.0, and contribute feedback to the community, then you need to enroll. To do this, head over to the opt-in for beta access via the Public Test Channel. To do this follow these instructions:
- Open the Oculus app on your PC computer.
- Select Settings.
- Click “Beta” in the left menu.
- Click on the switch next to Public Test Channel.
- Once you’ve enrolled in the Public Test Channel, you can choose to leave at any time by returning to the Beta section of the Oculus app and clicking next to Public Test Channel.