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How Virtual Reality Will Change Entertainment

April 04, 2016

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By: Max Cannon

With the recent release of the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive set to start shipping this week, virtual reality is finally making it's way into people's homes. With names like PlayStation and Valve attached to the technology, many would assume that VR's sole application would be to gaming. However, VR is much more than video games and could give us new ways to enjoy our favorite forms of entertainment. 

A VR headset and hand-simulating controllers.A VR headset and hand-simulating controllers.Courtesy of Business Insider

Music

Front row seats to your favorite band may be more possible than ever with VR. The ability to sit down at home, pay for a ticket, and see a live show from your couch isn't something of science fiction. People will often avoid going to see a band they care about because they can't make the travel happen, and I know growing up that my parents didn't like me going to shows out of concern for my safety. With VR things are safer and possibly easier than ever before.

Companies seem to be planning VR shows like this already. Specifically, Sony purchased a venue in Times Square and renamed it the PlayStation Theater and it's been speculated that it could be used to pioneer streaming shows to VR. Or it could've been a simple name change, but a guy can dream.

Though not exactly like VR, bands like Muse have made 360 degree music videos which allow you to move your phone as if you're moving a camera. The uses translate directly over to VR by replacing the camera with your head and place you closer to your favorite artists than ever before.

Paul McCartney performances for a VR audience. Paul McCartney performances for a VR audience. Courtesy of Road To VR

Movies

The market is evolving for movies. With release day streaming rising in popularity, there is an ever growing number of people who would rather watch their movies at home than trek to the theater. I think those people are crazy but I understand the idea and VR is a offering a compromise. My favorite part of going to the theater is that I am forced to be immersed in the movie. I don't have my phone, I can't pause, I can't turn and talk loudly to my friends- it is just me and my movie.

With VR I can get the best of both worlds. I'm alone with my screen and I'm wrapped in a blanket at my own home. I'm not paying an absurd amount of money for my Coke and Pop-Secret, and people won't yell and ruin my movie going experience. Similar to how Xbox is allowing people to use Oculus Rift to simulate playing games in an empty theater, the movie going experience could emulate that idea. 

The Oculus Cinema allows users to simulate going out to the theater.The Oculus Cinema allows users to simulate going out to the theater.Courtesy of Hexamob

Television

Front row at the Super Bowl, sitting in the crowd of "American Idol" or "The Voice," or standing in Time's Square on New Year's Eve? These could be more possible than ever and potentially cheaper. People feel disillusioned and distant from celebrities but imagine being able to stand in the room during The Oscars and actually see your favorite actor up close.

Live events could change forever with people able to actually take part in the show. This would effectively break down my issues with VR being a solo experience and highlight the importance of socially enjoying the moment with other people. As crazy and fictitious as it sounds, these ideas are all very possible and could be available in our homes sooner than we think. 

MTV streamed the EMA's in 360 degree VR in 2015.MTV streamed the EMA's in 360 degree VR in 2015.Courtesy of The Verge
Have Your Say

What excites you about the future of virtual reality? Will you be picking up a VR headset or do you already have one? Comment below!