Sonic who? Meet Oculus Rift's new VR film star

And all he wants is a hug

Henry

Oculus wants you to know that gaming isn't the only avenue for VR, it's also about immersive story telling.

The company's Story Studio premiered its latest animated VR film, Henry, yesterday in Beverely Hills, California.

The studio describes the film as a comedy about Henry, a hedgehog who loves hugs, but scares his friends away with his spikes. We see him on his birthday, when makes a wish "that changes everything."

The studio had first introduced Henry earlier this month and is set to be the second VR film from Story Studio, and the first from the studio to feature a character.

But as the film won't actually be released to the public until early 2016, Story Studio has posted a new video on its blog to give us more of a look at what we can expect with Henry.

Empathy is key

Henry is led by former Pixar VFX supervisor Inigo Quilez and directed by Ramiro Lopez Dau, who said:

"Empathy for a character is one of the most important fields for us to explore in virtual reality. And with Henry, we wanted to create a character that had special bond with the audience."

The new video also showcases how, with a VR environment, the film is able to break the fourth wall and the character of Henry able to look straight at you and even interact with you.

"With Henry, we wanted to bring the audience closer to a film character than ever before," Story Studio said in its blog.

You won't be needing Oculus Touch controllers with this film as you won't be able to physically interact with Henry (even though you're going to want to hug the little guy), but he will take note of your presence and act accordingly.

"These characters in VR can feel truly alive, and Henry is a first glimpse of that magic," Dau said.

The film will run for 12 minutes and is narrated by Elijah Wood. It will be available for free once the Oculus Rift begins shipping out early next year.

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