Oculus Home is Meta’s first social VR experience. It’s been around for years and I really liked it. After the Rift S lost support, they seemed to have just forgotten about the platform. You can still access it by using Quest link and visiting your Home on your PC, so it’s not like it doesn’t exist. It even uses the old Meta avatar system. I was convinced that it would eventually become the mainstream platform.
About Oculus Home
The majority of people have Meta headsets, meaning that Meta has a huge advantage and can choose where to place customers, when they turn on their devices. So, from the very beginning, there were already people using Oculus Home. You turn on your headset and you were immediately there. It feels a bit funny to walk around in, but ultimately the platform is very smooth. Interactable are so much more comfortable and stable than most platforms. It was also easy to join friends in their environment. Players could also import their own environments and props to customize their home. There was a lot I liked about this platform, though they also had a lot to improve on.
Problems with the Platform
Meta had added public environments to the platform a while back, and this got me very excited. It had almost all the features that could rival something like VRChat. It was odd how it was implemented. You couldn’t search for home worlds that were set to public, you could only see a small amount of public environments that already had players in it. So the UI and search feature isn’t great. Oculus Home also limited players to one public world, which is incredibly limiting for a creator. Also, their build features were very weird.
Building a custom environment involved importing a glb file to the platform. That glb file would be put into an environment with very limiting controls. For instance, there is a directional light default in the scene. You can increase and decrease the intensity, but you can’t delete it. This light is realtime, so it passes through the blackface of meshes, destroying the mood of the environment. So, not only could you only have one public world, you had to deal with their messy creator tools.
Here we are Now
It’s clear that the main focus of the platform was a home world and nothing else. It’s disappointing because it feels like it has a ton of potential to become a really fun platform. They just need to tweak some features a bit. Let creators publish unlimited public worlds, fix the creator tools, and let players explore. I was convinced it was the starting point for a major social VR platform by Meta, which is why I was so surprised when Horizon came out. Horizon is a disappointment in my opinion, especially when something like Oculus Home exists! My platform of choice has always been VRChat, but part of me really wanted to see Oculus Home become something enjoyable. It’s basically been sitting stagnant for the past couple years.