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The first NBA game of the season will be streamed in VR

Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
October 27, 2015
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NextVR has announced that it'll stream tonight's opening game of the NBA season to all of its users in virtual reality. If you have a Gear VR (and compatible handset), then you'll be able to watch the Warriors take on the Pelicans as if you were court side. It's early days for the technology, so virtual viewers will only have one viewing angle during the event, although it'll switch to another for the pre-game ring giving ceremony. In an interview with Wired, NextVR's Brad Allen revealed that users will also be limited to a 180-degree view. Instead of being able to turn around and see the audience around you, you'll be shown the NBA, Turner and NextVR logos. Viewers will also be listening to the sounds of game as if they were there, rather than listening to a commentator, although that could well change with future broadcasts.

As exciting as this all is, for now it's just a dummy-run to see if broadcasting games in VR is as viable as the company hopes. The firm will have several other cameras recording the game that researchers will use afterward to determine the best viewing locations. In addition, there's at last the potential to add statistics, scores and commentary to future broadcasts should it become enough of a success. Either way, considering the price of most court side seats, dropping a few hundred bucks on a Gear VR may, all of a sudden, turn out to be a bargain.

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