AltSpace has delivered some excellent experiences for those who've given the app a try. At one point it seemed like it could be the future of social experiences in VR, before announcing over the Summer that AltSpace would be shutting down. That shutdown was averted by Microsoft acquiring AltSpace, but that means a lot of different things. What you might be curious about is whether this is a good thing or a bad thing for ever seeing AltSpace for PlayStation VR.
We've got the breakdown for you here.
What is Altspace?
Altspace is a virtual social space for meeting, greeting and generally having a great time. You can create custom rooms to chat in or explore already created ones. AltspaceVR has hosted several pretty big events such as Reggie Watts live stand up, Bill Nye the Science Guy, they even have poetry and open mic nights for budding artists.
It's available on almost every VR platform already including, Daydream, Gear VR, Vive, Rift, and soon to be available on all the Mixed Reality Headsets from Microsoft. They even have a 2D version in the web browser. The only big player that's currently missing is PlayStation VR. Microsoft recently acquired Altspace at a Mixed Reality Event, giving the company a chance to expand its horizons under new management, and this is what is exciting for those of us who love PlayStation VR.
Why no PlayStation VR then?
To be honest we don't know why they didn't. My assumption is that making applications for a console is significantly more difficult than making one for other Platforms. While PlayStation VR is currently one f the most popular VR headsets around, that wasn't the case when Altspace was getting up and running.
By the time PlayStation VR has become a contender, Altspace was already in a financial model that didn't allow for much expansion, which is why we hadn't seen it up until now. With Microsoft running the show, things are still up in the air as to whether we'll ever see this experience on console.
So What Happens Next?
Microsoft has been using a new model recently that seems to be working for them. Instead of making consumers come to them, they are going to the consumers. They seem to be pushing for an agnostic approach to software which is great news for everybody in VR Land.
At the Mixed Reality event when MS announced the acquisition they said "We are going to make the Altspace VR experience great on Windows Mixed Reality, and continue to embrace other platforms the community chooses to use." This simple line is what gives us hope, as right now the VR community is using the PlayStationVR in a big way.
The inclusion of PSVR would open up a huge market for Microsoft and bring that dream of a ubiquitous social space closer to reality. So we're cautiously optimistic that down the line, we'll see Altspace on PlayStation VR.
While Microsoft's acquisition of Altspace doesn't mean that we'll definitely being seeing the app come to PlayStation VR, it is a bit more hopeful now. Do you have questions about Altspace, or it's future? Are you happy to see this aquisition happen? Let us know in the comments below!
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