If you own a Google Daydream, then chances are you’ve been enjoying YouTube in virtual reality for over a year now. However, the YouTube VR app wasn’t made available for some of the other popular VR headsets at the higher end of the market. That is, until now.
As The Verge reports, YouTube VR just launched on Steam in Early Access, unlocking it for use with headsets such as the HTC Vive. The reason it’s an Early Access app is because Google plans to continuing adding support for more VR headsets as well as “custom in-app experiences.” Right now, the app is optimized for the HTC Vive.
As for what YouTube VR enables, think of it like a 3D world, but where every video on every channel is presented through a virtual reality interface. Videos setup specifically for VR will allow for enhanced viewing, meaning you can swim with sharks and watch concerts as if you were actually there in the audience.
If you visit the YouTube VR Steam page you’ll notice the reception it is getting isn’t great. Reviews are mixed, and that’s because the app apparently keeps crashing. Others bemoan a lack of official support beyond the Vive, poor search filters for VR content, and general frustration over controls, navigation, and a lack of support for some 3D videos. On a positive note, though, some users have got it working with the Oculus Rift and Touch Controllers.
For now, YouTube VR on Steam looks like a great app that’s yet to happen. The fact it’s Early Access suggests Google knew there were problems but wanted to launch anyway, and the app’s development team will surely sort out the biggest problems quickly.