Porn, Black Smears and Micropayments – Everything We Learned Today About Oculus

by Will Mason • May 18th, 2015

One of the questions many people have asked me is whether or not we will be able to view porn (or other “adult” apps) on the Oculus Rift. Well today we finally have an answer, yes you will in fact be able to.

Porn was a hot topic during today’s SVVR panel, with the topic being broached to three different times to the panel – with their faces growing increasingly red each time. Ella Darling, one of the pioneers of VR porn, finally managed to get a little information out of the panel when she asked her question. Her topic spurns from a trend of censorship in other ‘walled garden’ app stores, like Apple’s – which has had a long standing policy against adult content within its store. Darling, directing her question at Palmer Luckey, asked whether or not we would see a similar policy in the Oculus Home Store – and his response drew quite a nice round of applause from the crowd.

Palmer confirmed on stage that yes, you would be able to download adult applications on the Oculus Rift, saying there would be no censorship on the content that was available on it. This is great news, not just for those developing adult applications, but also those developing applications which may have a controversial nature. It also confirms Oculus’ mission to be as open of a platform as possible, which is fantastic news for content creators.

But it wasn’t just porn that we learned about today – we also learned that the store will allow for many of the ways in which mobile developers are monetizing their games today. This means that we will see developers playing with ‘old hat’ monetization strategies for VR such as free to play, microtransactions, and ad supported games. For developers looking to make more than just $0.99-9.99 per customer, this is great news.

Beyond the two pieces of Oculus Home related news, we also learned from Palmer Luckey that the black smears present in the DK2 will be “significantly reduced” in the CV1. This does suggest however that the problem hasn’t been completely eliminated however, but it does suggest that it will be a lot less noticeable. Right now if you are looking at a scene on your DK2 and rotate, shifting between true black and other colors there is a noticeable fade, or ‘smear’ that is left behind. This can be extremely presence breaking, so solving this in the CV1 is big. Ben Lang from Road to VR previously noted that the effect had been “nearly eliminated” in the Crescent Bay, so it remains to be seen if this is a continued improvement from there.

We will be back on the floor at SVVR tomorrow trying to dig up anything more that we can about the bustling VR scene. Be sure to check back for more updates!

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