Updated. Facebook’s new Oculus Quest headset is launching with a number of high-profile gaming titles this Tuesday. Media apps on the other hand will take a bit of backseat, with some key players sitting this latest headset out for the time being.
First, the good news for anyone who has pre-ordered the headset: One of the biggest media services will be on the Quest, despite not being named among the official launch titles up until now. Representatives from Netflix and Facebook confirmed that the Netflix VR app will be available for the Quest at launch.
HBO on the other hand won’t be on the Quest, a spokesperson for the cable network confirmed. That absence isn’t a complete surprise: HBO brought both its HBO Now and its HBO Go service to VR when Google launched its Daydream VR headset in 2016. However, Daydream didn’t pan out to be much of a hit with consumers, and HBO discontinued its VR apps earlier this year.
Media center app maker Plex also didn’t build an app for the Quest, and likely won’t be doing so for some time to come. Plex chief product officer Scott Olechowski told Variety that the company currently had no plans to port its Plex VR app to the new headset, and that it was focusing its development resources on other areas instead. Plex first launched it’s VR app on Daydream in early 2018, and has since ported it to Gear VR and Oculus Go as well.
Oculus Quest will ship with Facebook’s own Oculus TV app, which functions as a launch pad for video content from providers including Facebook Watch, Fox Now, Red Bull TV and Neverthink as well as live TV from internet pay TV service Sling TV. YouTube also announced last week that it was bringing its YouTube VR app to the device, and Pluto as well as ESPN also made their apps available on launch day.
A Facebook spokesperson said that the company would share details on additional media apps heading to the headset after the launch, adding that it was “exploring ways to make media watching even better on Oculus Quest in the future.” However, she added that the primary focus of the Quest was gaming.
Update: 5/21: This post was updated with additional media apps available at launch.