The NBA has extended its partnership with VR technology company NextVR to deliver 27 live games during the 2017-18 season in VR, as well as a called Screening Room for other NBA League Pass games.
The 27 lives games will feature each of the 30 NBA teams at least once within NextVR’s 3D VR experience, tipping off with a free preview on 21 October as the Houston Rockets host the Dallas Mavericks. These games will include live volumetric telestration, live infographics and stats inserted into the virtual screen.
“By committing to a schedule of VR games, we’ve been able to listen to fan feedback in real-time and deploy improvements on a weekly basis,” said Jeff Marsilio, VP of global media distribution at the NBA. “The fan response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we look forward to seeing their reaction to this year’s new VR capabilities.”
Furthermore, the NextVR Screening Room will enable subscribers to watch any NBA League Pass game on a virtual cinema-sized screen. This virtual screen will enable fans to select up to 13 games to livestream. This feature, as well as the 27 live games, will also be available to international League Pass subscribers.
To access the VR experience, fans need to login with their League Pass credentials via the NBA section of the NextVR app. Those with a Samsung Gear VR headset or Google Daydream, and a compatible smartphone, can download he app for free the Oculus Store or Play Store. Furthermore, Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality users will also be able to experience games in VR.
“Following a ground-breaking first season of NBA games in VR, we will introduce new product features, including real-time graphics floating like holograms within the field-of-play, deliver sharper images, and introduce more VR devices to fans,” said David Cole, NextVR CEO. “We are continuing to advance the realism and fidelity of our NBA broadcasts and these new features will deliver the most immersive live basketball experience to date.”
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