Some disregard virtual reality as a fad, but the truth is that it is a technology that will soon revolutionize the way we live. This is further shown with new investments in VR and new experiences that introduce a wider audience to the exciting capabilities of what VR has to offer.
NFL Virtual Reality Postgame Highlights
In the beginning of this year NextVR announced that they will be working in tandem with NFL Fils to bring super-bowl coverage for virtual reality. This month, following the unveil and release of Google Daydream, the NFL showed its continued trust in the new technology by announcing a new partnership with Google. According to the press-release NFL Films will be giving fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes 360-degrees look into the life of NFL players. This will be done via a nine-part virtual reality series that will begin airing on YouTube on Thanksgiving day.
While last season NFL experimented with the technology, the fully-featured production aimed at VR devices shows the continuous trust in the virtual reality future. The new series will be the first exclusive sport program series to be produced for VR. This is expected to bring even more sports fans to the ever growing virtual reality market.
“We are always looking for new ways to engage with our fans. Virtual reality is an emerging platform that enables content experiences with a truly unique vintage point that brings fans closer to the game,” stated Senior Vice President at Digital Media at the NFL, Vishal Shah. He further went to discuss that they are excited to explore the evolving new medium.
NBA Virtual Reality Experience
However, football is not the only sport that will hit virtual devices through new experiences. Earlier this week, NextVR announced that they are working with NBA Digital to bring a whole new way to experience basketball games. According to the statement made by Danny Keens, vice president of content at NextVR, the new experience will combine the best elements of traditional televised broadcasting and in-person game viewing.
The NBA VR announcement may be even bigger than the NFL VR series, because once a week fans will be able to experience NBA games through the new medium in an innovative way. The experience will include optimized graphics for VR and each game will feature multiple camera angles and will have announcers, just as televised games do.
If the experiment goes as planned and achieves a big audience, VR may become the next medium through which fans will be able to experience sports. “Everyone in the sports industry is competing for the same eyeballs,” said Danny Keens. “We are bringing the audience closer to the action and experience of the game. This includes accessibility to the scoreboard, commentary, real-time stats, shot clock, game clock, surround sound experience, etc. We’re very excited about this for multiple reasons: it’s live, it’s a NBA game and it’s going to be broadcast every single week.”
Even if you are not a sports fan, this news is extremely exciting, as it shows the dedication in the industry to push the Virtual Reality medium forward. “Since there are hundreds of millions of NBA Fans, we’re hoping that this will prompt fans who haven’t tried VR yet to go out and get a headset.”
The Mainstream Popularity of Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality headset sales have stagnated in the middle of this year, but after the release of more affordable and more easily accessible devices, including the PS VR and Google Daydream, we are starting to notice a medium shift towards virtual reality.
We are living in an exciting time for virtual reality. After years of unsuccessful attempts in the history of VR headsets, it’s rewarding to see the wide-spread movement in the entertainment industry towards the new medium. While innovation is still to be made in the way we experience virtual reality content, seeing how sports, including the NFL and NBA, are migrating towards VR is nonetheless a mark that paves the way for a better mainstream popularity of virtual reality.