Quest Gets a Third-Person Spectator View for Casting
The latest Oculus Integration for Unity update features a beta release of spectator camera capability that will enable developers to showcase a third-person view to spectators who are watching via a web browser or smartphone.
Currently, if a friend is interested in catching up on the action in your Quest game, you can now cast your first-person view to your smartphone through the Oculus app, to a TV via Chromecast, or to a web browser through the Casting page. This provides spectators with a window into the virtual world although the first-person view from a virtual reality headset isn’t necessarily the best way of seeing what is going on due to the cropped filed-of-view as well as the motion of the player’s head.
To enhance the spectating, some virtual reality games on PC and console will showcase the action from a third-person view which provides a clearer context on what’s happening in the scene and eliminates the shaking head motion. However, developers on Quest will soon be able to incorporate some kind of feature into their virtual reality games.
The v29 update of the Oculus Integration for Unity was initially announced in late 2020. Now it includes a beta version of the spectator camera function and even features a sample that developers can build from.
This feature can also be used in conjunction with the typical first-person view which allows the developer or the user to switch from one to another with relative ease within the application.
This feature could also open up capabilities for developers to add a stabilized first-person view just as the spectator views in the PC and console VR games have done. Previously, Oculus showcased a version of this feature that allows the spectator to even control the orientation of the third-person camera via the smartphone. However, it is still not apparent whether this functionality has been included in this beta release.
According to Oculus, the rendering of the extra third-person view will impact app performance. As a result, the feature is likely to be limited to the applications that are highly optimized and which already run efficiently on Quest. Alternatively, developers could opt to enable the feature only on the Quest 2 headset which has some good computing power.