VREAL Launch Brings a Lot of Excitement to the Entertainment Industry
The popular Twitch owned by Amazon and Google’s YouTube will face competition of a different sort later this summer with the launch of the beta version of VREAL. This new application was developed exclusively for platforms such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and the HTC Vive. With this latest livestreaming service, users can now create avatars, connect with friends and family around the world and stream live content.
CEO and founder of VREAL, Todd Hooper saw gameplay evolve into entertainment platforms such as Twitch and YouTube during his years serving as vice president of online at Unity technologies. This new development has come in tandem with Facebook’s $2 billion investments into virtual reality and the launch of Valve, HTC and Sony into the market.
“There are more people watching games on Twitch and YouTube than playing games today,” Hooper says. “That same trend will apply to VR in the future.”
“We’ve built a way for us to re-render every game in real time so when you put on a VR headset I appear in the game next to you and we can have a social experience inside the game— just like a 2D web page and chat window on Twitch or YouTube,” Hooper says.
With the level of investment Hooper’s startup has made in the past year in enabling technologies, developers using Unity will seamlessly render their virtual reality games across all platform. This is one of the many ways in which the launch of VREAL beta already holds promise.
VREAL is currently testing its technology on a variety of new titles and some of them are the Surgeon Simulator and Cloudlands, Mini golf games. In addition to these, they have also created a new concept called VR Legends with a multiplayer feature and online battle arena.
“We’ve been looking for what are the interesting eSports titles for VR, and we put together concept of what that might look like,” Hooper says.
Hooper also believes there is an opening outside of traditional ad based revenue model that we currently use. Virtual reality opens up a new business model that sponsors will be interested in. Hooper also believes that his company is committed to Oculus and Vive today but VREAL still remains a Sony PlayStation partner and will bring a lot to the table in the future. Users can now stream virtual reality content across mobile VR devices via cloud rendering technology.
“Future mobile VR products will be more powerful and with hand input interaction, opening open up more possibilities,” Hooper says.
According to Peter Warman, CEO of research firm Newzoo says the meeting of games and video on a global scale is changing and transforming gaming into an all-round entertainment franchise.
“VR is changing how consumers communicate with each other and interact with content,” Warman says. “We expect the lion’s share of VR revenues to be generated by hardware sales, spectator content, and live viewing formats.”