#Trending: The early days of virtual reality app stores

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Creating for VR is expensive. And not many people outside tech own a headset yet. So are Oculus, Samsung, Google, Sony and OSVR supposed to pack their virtual reality app stores with games, experiences and films in time for that much predicted explosion in VR headset sales?

The truth is most of these tech companies have been working with developers for months and months to secure exclusive titles and push out the most interesting new uses of VR - such as socialising and multiplayer games - as fast as humanly possible.

Read this: Three experts on whether 2016 will be VR's breakthrough year

It's early days but here's who we think is winning in the race to build the world's biggest and best VR app store.

WEAR: Oculus/ Samsung

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Oculus and Samsung have paved the way for getting a nice selection of VR apps, games and movies ready to consume. With the now very cheap indeed Gear VR running Oculus software and the higher end Rift due in 2016, the partnership has worked out nicely. On Samsung's headset you can watch highbrow short films in VRSE, play polished mobile games like Land's End, chat with avatars in AltSpace VR and plenty more.

Read this: The best Samsung Gear VR apps: Demos, apps and experiences

Plus from the developers point of view, Samsung's store is already charging for some full apps and games. So there's more incentive to create for this platform.

A more than honourable mention to Valve and HTC's Vive. For serious gamers, we think the fight will be between this and Sony's PlayStation VR headset for PS4 in 2016.

NEARLY THERE: Google Cardboard

#Trending: The early days of virtual reality app stores

Google is trailing Oculus and Samsung for high quality apps, experiences and games that people are willing to pay for. Google's own services make up the bulk of what you'll want to do right now- including 360 degree YouTube videos, now with added depth, VR Expeditions and Street View for Cardboard.

Read this: The best Google Cardboard apps, games and experiences

But this could all change and if Google's Works with Cardboard seal of approval comes to more, cheaper-than-Samsung VR viewers, it could be the affordability of the hardware - and the fact it works with any phone - that makes developers sit up and build awesome virtual reality apps for Google's platform.



This open source VR platform, initiated by Razer, has a few big names in both hardware and software (Ubisoft, Leap Motion, Untold Games) signed up but we're yet to see anything to rival Oculus, Sony and Google.

Read this: The best OSVR apps, games and experiences so far

It might just be that we will have to be patient. Hey, Assassin's Creed in VR might sneak up on us in 2016. And OSVR does have the advantage that many developers are choosing to also make their content compatible with this as well as more mainstream big name headsets.

There's some nice indie titles too but it's mainly games and doesn't yet offer the breadth of experiences you can get on the Gear VR and Cardboard.


How we test


Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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