Oculus TV is designed for 2D watching, which may seem counter to the purpose of a Virtual Reality headset, but it may be a smart move on Facebook’s part. According to Samsung, a reported 80 percent of uses for their Gear VR headset isn’t for virtual reality but rather to watch videos. Given that this seems to be the predominant use of VR headsets, creating an app that allows you to do just that only makes sense. But who wants to have a bunch of different apps to be able to watch all your favorite shows? It would be cumbersome to have to have a VR app for Netflix, another for Hulu, a third for Showtime, then HBO—etc. That’s where Oculus TV could shine. The app aims to bring all your favorite content providers under one roof—Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, Pluto TV, Newsy, Facebook Watch, Red Bull TV, HBO, and more. In effect, Oculus TV turns your VR headset into a smart TV. Smart—potentially.
There are a few bugs that need to be worked out—such as some content having to be opened in their own apps rather than in Oculus, or some content not being optimized for VR—but as those issues are resolved, time will tell whether Oculus TV was a good move or not. But given the numbers, who can fault Facebook for taking the leap?