Facebook creates social VR team ahead of Oculus Rift release in March

Facebook founder confirms Minecraft is coming to Oculus VR.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Facebook has formed a social virtual reality team with two former executives from the video game industry at the helm, the company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at Mobile World Congress.

The new social VR team will work with both Oculus and other teams at Facebook to explore how VR and social interaction collide together.

Zuckerberg made the announcement during Samsung's press event on Sunday. Samsung and Facebook's Oculus have worked together on Samsung's Gear VR.

"This team will explore how people can connect and share using today's VR technology, as well as long-term possibilities as VR evolves into an increasingly important computing platform," the company wrote in an official blog post.

CNET: Facebook wants to put the "social" in virtual reality

Zuckerberg also announced that more than 200 games and apps are now available for the platform in the Oculus store, and users have already watched more than a million hours of video in Samsung's Gear VR. Furthermore, users have uploaded 20,000 videos in the 360-degree format to Facebook, after it added the feature in 2015.

The social VR team is led by two executives from the video games industry, Daniel James and Mike Booth, who both have backgrounds in creating 3D multiplayer experiences, according to the Financial Times.

"VR is the next platform, where anyone can experience and share anything they want. VR is going to be the most social platform," Zuckerberg said.

Facebook is placing big bets on VR. The social network bought Oculus for $2 billion in 2014 and plans to ship the Oculus VR headset next month.

Zuckerberg announced popular game Minecraft will be coming to the platform.


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