Plex Officially Will Not Develop An App for Any VR Platform

I Want My Plex.tv

In what is either a terrible decision, misprioritization, or submitting to strong arming by entertainment industry pressure (Paramount/Big Screen/Facebook – who knows we are speculating) popular streaming and meta-aggregation service Plex.tv has stated officially, via its forums, in response to a growing demand for Quest support, that is NOT developing the app for ANY VR platform now or in the foreseeable future.

Plex answer on VR

This, from a financial or marketing perspective obviously makes no sense, since the Oculus Quest tetherless VR headset has been selling out as fast as Facebook can produce it. Plex allows users to bring in their own copies of TV and Film titles and then compares them to various databases to assign their metadata, cover art and even audio theme songs to let them essentially make their own private OTT Netflix-style media server.

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In what is most definitely a too-good-to-be-true product, this can certainly lead to murky licensing and copyright territory. Nonetheless, recently Plex has introduced ad-supported official licensing deals for many film and TV shows, free to users of the product, and will likely be launching an a la carte storefront in the near future.

At first users were up in arms that Plex was losing its soul, selling out to the man, selling them short and turning into yet another iTunes wannabe. But Plex went to great marketing lengths to reassure its userbase that this was not the case.

So why would Plex, which is a perfect and much needed solution for streaming personal videos to an HMD, with a functional product already on the now slightly antiquated Oculus Go, not want to hop on the Quest train? You probably don’t have to think too hard to figure it out.

For now we have to deal with the limited, canned and expensive rental content on Bigscreen’s official Paramount licensing deal. You CAN also use Bigscreen to stream your desktop content, but it isn’t the same as what Plex offers; a beautifully organized gallery of custom personal content, perhaps backups of your DVD collection, or favorite recorded TV shows, or best of all 3D movies, that looks and sounds great in a VR virtual movie theater.

Too bad for us, too bad for VR. too bad for cineastes who want to watch something other that what the commercial deals allow, be they classics, indies, mondo cult films, training videos, hard to get stereoscopic content or otherwise.

OGR’s Top 5 Favorite Experiences for Oculus Quest 2020 (You Might Not Expect)

Each of these titles was chosen for its particular excellence for being expressive and benefiting from the Quest’s tetherless and dynamic form factor. Being able to quickly move between areas of your apartment or house or soccer field to punch, fish, groove or get strange enhances the value of these excellent Virtual Reality works.

In no particular order:

Real VR Fishing

Developer: MIRAGESOFT, Inc.
Publisher: MIRAGESOFT, Inc.
Website: https://www.realvrfishing.com
Release Date: September 12, 2019

This little gem came seemingly out of nowhere but has quickly won over not only our hearts but those of the Internet. Based out of South Korea, Miragesoft has filmed various locations around their country with high resolution 360 video that they then mapped over a 3D mesh and enhanced with various digital add-ons, flocks of birds, weather and lighting.

You can also use your own custom music library, which it plays through a built-in player that lets you shuffle, repeat or manually select tracks.

Furthermore, many varied and photo-realistic fish you catch can be added to a huge aquarium in your lodge, so you can enjoy them all together. Various unlockable upgrades to your fishing gear, aquarium, and home base can be added through your hard work out on the lake.

Constant updates are being added, most recently a complete saltwater fish update, with multiplayer promised by Q2 of 2020. Oh yeah, and did we mention the fishing physics are great? Seasoned fishermen have given the game their seal of approval, particularly in an advanced mode that doesn’t use color cues but only nuanced haptics and your rod, tackle and line. An amazing and transportive experience.

The Under Presents

Developer: Tender Claws
Publisher: Tender Claws
Website: https://tenderclaws.com/
Release Date: November 19, 2019

Tender Claws established themselves early on as one of the main VR developers to watch and moreover have helped to advanced the very nature and quality of the medium with their postmodern narrative efforts via Virtual Virtual Reality. and now The Under Presents.

Using a terrific warpy-world pulling locomotion mechanic, dioramas, time-delayed self-cloning and all sorts of other tricks of the trade, The Under Presents is a haunting, hilarious, imaginative, deep and puzzling romp through wonderfully creative scenarios tied together by a plot that would make Italo Calvino proud. An essential if sometimes flummoxing VR experience.

Wander

Developer: Parkline Interactive, LLC
Publisher: Parkline Interactive, LLC
Website: http://www.parklineinteractive.com/
Release Date: May 21, 2019

Wander fills the very important gap for Quest left by the absence of Google Earth VR. It allows you to travel very smoothly through many awe-inspiring locations around the world, bookmark them, search them using voice or keyboard and learn a few fun facts along the way.

Far from as comprehensive as Google Earth but a rich and inspiring experience nonetheless, this is a beautiful thing to share with others, or just wander through alone, investigating many places you may never personally get to in your own life…or that may not be here much longer.

Dance Central

Developer: Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.
Publisher: Oculus Studios
Website: http://www.dancecentral.com/
Release Date: May 21, 2019

This port of the original console game from the makers of Rock Band is a perfect pairing for the tetherless and nimble Oculus Quest. While we do recommend getting one of the various aftermarket head-strap add-ons that better balance the weight of the headset, Dance Central will give you the fun of going to your own nightclub where you will make new friends and learn or practice some pretty great hip-hop moves.

The app also has a calorie tracker and pretty banging – although decidedly short – catalog of songs, which does include tracks from Cardi B, Flo Rida, Psy, Ellie Goulding, Salt-N-Pepa, Young MC, Chainsmokers and Chvrches. Unfortunately, it seems they do not have any new DLCs planned, and the forum link for song requests is broken at their support page, but this is by far one of our favorite little corners to hang out – and sweat it – out in VR.

Box VR

Developer: FitXR
Publisher: FitXR
Website: http://www.fitxr.com/
Release Date: May 21, 2019

If you want a workout you will feel in the morning and not just swing like a lunatic at your opponents – like in some boxing VR games – this one uses extremely precise movement to register your jabs, dodges, crosses and uppercuts. With a lot of music in various categorized genres, a professionally designed athletic program and a huge community, Box VR is a true fitness tool that you can use with some assurance that it takes into mind consistency, development and mitigating injury.

Of course, the ultimate responsibility is yours.

Five Interesting and Solid New Releases for Oculus July-August 2019

The days of not having a large enough VR catalog are now well in the rearview mirror, and now we can begin to really pick and choose between the standouts and everything else. The following is a list of solid new releases for Oculus devices we wanted to share circa July-August 2019.

Voyager

from Brian Keeley-DeBonis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=30&v=Q1mef_XR8lc

Currently in Early Access, this little game from Brian Keely-DeBonis already has us captivated with its exploration and puzzle-driven trip to an abandoned but otherworldly village that looks a little bit like the Anasazi ruins by way of The Legend of Zelda.

An evocative, reverb-heavy ambient score that reminds us a bit of David Sylvian’s work with Can’s Holger Czukay adds to the mystique.

Oculus Go | 277 MB | FREE from Oculus

ROGAN: The Thief in the Castle

from Smilegate Entertainment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=2X-dCLO5MKo

We’re getting strong Thief and Dishonored vibes from this one, not just because of the stealth focus but also the not-quite-Medieval, not-quite-Renaissance and not-quite-Steampunk setting.

The game focuses not only on stealth but also the audio elements of sneaking around – listening for nearby guards and doors opening and closing – but even without the Thief-style stealth elements, we’d probably be all in on ROGAN: The Thief in the Castle just for the costume design alone.

Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S | 7.3 GB | $39.99 from Oculus or Steam

Westworld Awakening

from Survios

More stealth, this time set during the second season of the eponymous HBO series, Westworld Awakening sees players taking on the role of a self-aware android – a “host,” in the show’s parlance – exploring a sinister corporate underworld.

Stealth and puzzles abound, and the tension of being stalked by a homicidal host puts this one right between science and fiction and survival horror.

Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S | 17 GB | $29.99 from Oculus or Steam

DUSTNET

from SCRNPRNT

DUSTNET is an experimental take on multi-player shooters, set in an imagined crumbling, far-future de_dust2 server.

If you don’t immediately get that reference, don’t worry; you don’t have to be a hardcore Counter-Strike player to appreciate this game’s vector graphics-driven, almost abstract interpretation of the original game. And it’s cross-platform, so you can even play with your flat screen friends!

Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S | 250 MB | $5.99 from Steam

Meu

from Radix Motion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U65hDzVmwF4

The first release from Radix Motion, a small development team focusing on the intersection of neuroscience and VR, Meu is a movement toy that lets you capture and edit body language and gesture with some fun psychedelic filters and motion-controlled musical effects.

The ability to record and share adds a social component.

Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S | 414 MB | FREE from Oculus or Steam