What you need to know
- Leaderboards on Oculus will now feature your Facebook friends' high scores.
- Games can integrate directly with Facebook and publish your scores for friends to see and compete with.
- Facebook can notify you when scores are beaten so you can punch back right away.
Facebook is looking to blur the lines between its social network and its virtual reality division even more with the latest Oculus back-end update. Now when you browse Facebook, or when you're in the Oculus Home interface on an Oculus Rift or Oculus Quest, you'll see the leaderboards of your favorite games baked right into the feed. The big twist here isn't just the inclusion of leaderboards into your gaming feed, though, it's that these leaderboards feature the scores of your Facebook friends.
That new implementation of Facebook's Destinations feature, which was announced at OC6 this past Fall, means that games are able to deeply integrate with your Facebook profile by publishing your high scores for all your friends to see. That also means that you'll be able to easily see when your friends beat your high score and immediately challenge them again. While worldwide leaderboards are cool, sometimes it's just fun to compete with the folks you know and love.
Leaderboard integration is just one of the many steps Facebook has taken in the past year to further integrate its social network into key Oculus systems. Once upon a time, Oculus and Facebook accounts were entirely separate systems and couldn't intermingle very well. Now, Facebook requires you to have a Facebook account tied to your Oculus Rift or Quest in order to get all the nifty social features they offer, including friend-to-friend chatting and other ways to team up in games.
Given the popularity of Facebook worldwide, as well as the significant increase in marketshare Oculus has seen since the Oculus Quest launched, it's unsurprising to see Facebook add a number of these features to better connect people who don't want to mess around with separate friends lists or social networks. While Facebook remains a polarizing platform for many people for a host of reasons, it's still the biggest social network worldwide by a large margin and is a huge part of many people's lives.
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Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu