An Updated Comparison Chart of Sixteen Social VR Platforms (Updated and Expanded Draft, November 2019)

Have you joined the Discord yet? You’re invited to be a part of the first ever cross-worlds discussion group, with over 300 people participating from every social VR platform and virtual world! More details here

I haven’t published an update to my popular November 2018 comparison chart of twelve social VR platforms for quite some time. There never seems to be a perfect time to update. At first, I wanted to wait until the Oculus Quest was released. And then, I was wondering whether or not I should wait until Facebook releases the Oculus Link update to the Oculus Quest (which means, theoretically, that Oculus Quest users can use a custom cable connected to their VR-ready Windows computer to view content originally intended for the Oculus Rift).

In the end, I decided to go ahead and publish a first draft of the updated comparison chart now, get feedback from my readers, and update the chart as necessary. So here is that first draft.

I removed two of the 12 platforms in last year’s comparison chart: both Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms were shut down by Facebook on October 25th, 2019, in preparation for the launch of Facebook Horizon sometime in 2020. I have not added Facebook Horizon to this chart (yet) because we still know so little about this new social VR platform. And I decided to add six more social VR platforms to the chart: Anyland, Cryptovoxels, Engage, JanusVR, Mozilla Hubs, and NeosVR.

Rather than publish the chart as an image to Flickr, as I did last year, I decided to create a spreadsheet using Google Drive, and publish it to the web here:

Comparison Chart of 16 Social VR Platforms (Updated and Expanded Draft © Ryan Schultz, November 13th, 2019).

Please leave me a comment with any suggestions, corrections or edits, and I will update this new comparison chart accordingly. You can also reach me on the Discord server, or any other virtual world Discord that I might belong to (my handle is always the same, RyanSchultz). You can also use the contact form on my blog.

UPDATE 3:48 p.m.: I’ve had a request to add userbase figures to this chart, but I am not going to do that for a very good reason: there’s absolutely no way I can get accurate figures from the various companies, many of whom want to keep that information private. And even ranking them using a scale like low, medium, and high would just be guesses on my part, misleading to a lot of people, and liable to lead to a lot of arguments. Sorry! I will leave it up to you to check Steam statistics for those platforms which are on Steam (which, again, may or may not be an accurate measure of the actual level of usage of any platform).

UPDATE Nov. 13th: I’d like to thank Frooxius (of NeosVR), Artur Sychov (of Somnium Space) and Jin for their corrections and suggestions. Any updates to this table are shown in real-time, which is a unexpected bonus to publishing a spreadsheet directly to the web from Google Drive! I should have thought of doing it this way last year.

And it would appear that there is a great deal of disagreement of what constitutes “in-world building tools”. I am referring to the ability to create complex objects entirely within the platform itself, and not using external tools such as Blender or Unity and then importing the externally-created objects into the platform. For example, High Fidelity has very rudimentary “prim-building” tools in-world, which are not often used by creators, who prefer to import mesh objects created in tools like Blender, Maya, or 3ds Max instead. To give another example, Somnium Space now offers a completely in-world tool for constructing buildings on your purchased virtual land. Sansar has no such tools for in-world building, although you can assemble premade, externally-created objects into a world by using their Scene Editor (which is something completely different from what I am talking about here).

One reader had suggested adding in a few more columns to this chart to include various technical aspects of these social VR platforms: game engine used, open/closed source, support for scripting, etc. Using the table provided to me by Enrico Speranza (a.k.a. Vytek), I have now added three more columns to the original comparison table: architecture/game engine, open/closed source, and scripting. Thank you for the suggestion, Vytek!

Please keep your suggestions, corrections and edits coming, thanks!


Sinespace Announces Several New Contests

Contests have become a popular way for many social VR/virtual world platforms to promote themselves and to encourage content creators with prizes.

Sinespace has just announced several new contests, with over US$29,000 worth of prizes, in three big contests and a series of smaller weekly contests:

We’ve got over $29,000 in prizes here – including $24,000 cash; between now & February 2020.

Wicked Witchcraft – Due October 28th, 2019, something Halloween/witchy; prize: $2000 grand prize, $1000 runner up.
Out of this World – Due December 20th, 2019, it’s all aliens and outer space for this one; prize: $3000 grand prize, $2000 runner up
Carnival Games – Due February 10th, 2020 – build something fun, interactive and interesting; prize: $5000 grand prize, $2000 runner up.
Weekly Contest, each and every week for the next few months starting from the September 28th, 2019 through February 21st, 2020, submit any original creation that week (once per item, must be a new item) for a chance at a $500 weekly prize.

For more details, please see the Sinespace Contest Challenges page. Good luck!

Sinespace Introduces a Referral Program

In an effort to promote their social VR/virtual world platform, Sinespace has unveiled a new user referral program.

The details are on this page. You will have to sign in using your username and password, and you will receive a unique referral link:

Here are the details of the referral program:

How to refer?
To refer a friend, copy the referral link above and share it via email, social media or message it to your friend.

1. Whenever your referred friend purchases gold, you get an extra 2% gold of the total amount e.g. if they buy 10000 Gold, you get 200 Gold.
2. If you refer 5 friends who become Premium members, you get your Premium membership free while they are subscribed!

Gold is one of the in-world currencies in Sinespace (the other is called Silver). So if you have family, friends and acquaintances whom you want to introduce to Sinespace, there’s no better time than now!

In fact, here’s my personal referral link, I’d be absolutely tickled pink if you decided to use it to join Sinespace! No pressure, though 😉

Sinespace has available desktop clients for Windows, Mac and Linux computers, as well as iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices. There’s even an experimental version of the Sinespace client that runs in your web browser!

Thanks to Wagner James Au of the blog New World Notes for the heads up!

Come and Get Your New Home in Sinespace This Labour Day Weekend!

Wagner James Au of the blog New World Notes reports:

Big Labor Day weekend announcement from Sinespace, the Unity 3D-based virtual world (and proud sponsoring partner to NWN): A free new home and region for all Sinespace users, both new and returning. Unlike a region in, say, Second Life, a Sinespace region can be customized to near unlimited size and hold up to 200 users at the same time.  Here’s how to get it:

– If new to Sinespace, create a free account here
Download the new version of Sinespace for Windows, Mac & Linux here
– Existing users: Click Home to load your new home and free region.
– New users: Simply click Home to teleport to your new  region.

As an existing user, I found I first had to delete my existing home in order to receive the new, more spacious home. The lot that the home sits on is much bigger, too. Here are a few shots to give you an idea:

My new driveway
My new futuristic home

It sounds as though this offer is only during the Labour Day weekend, so you might want to consider downloading the latest version of the Sinespace client software (Windows, Mac, or Linux versions), and pay a visit to claim your new home! This is a very generous offer by the company and, of course, now you have the perfect excuse to spend some Gold or Silver coins to get some furniture to decorate your new home!

Thanks for the heads up, Wagner!