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Viewers Can Now Experience Live Sports with Oculus VR Headsets

Oculus users can now use its VR headset to watch live sports, with a court-side view.

Oculus Venues is a new application from the technology company that enables users to watch live sports in the company of their virtual friends.

The development has been in the works for some time, as Oculus partnered with the NBA to create a virtual reality-based commercial last year. It showed celebrities Jonah Hill and Adam Levine sitting at their respective residences watching a game featuring the Warriors team, while their VR versions are sitting side by side each other. Their virtual avatars are seen exhibiting a range of natural gestures. Venues, in principle, is a VR theatre for watching sports, comedy shows and concerts in the company of strangers.


Users have to don their Oculus Go headsets (or other compatible devices) and log into the experience. Random users who tune in during the same game might be sitting next to each other, and can even converse with each other. As the game progresses, users can freely comment on events and hold conversations with their neighbours. Users have the liberty of decking their character out in colourful virtual attire and accessories. Venues also offers random users the ability to sit alongside celebrities.

The experience offered by Venues is quite unique and differs greatly from that of a television broadcast. With a court-side view, users can view halftime activities that are usually visible to only those sitting in those seats. This includes contests for the kids, movements and actions of players, and several other details.


Apart from the basketball VR features, viewers also have access to content from the NHL that is quite suitable for an immersive 360-degree viewing experience. Viewers can be closer to the action, instead of just watching conventional overhead TV camera angles.

Another application similar to Venues is the VR app from the TNT stable. This VR experience differs in the sense that viewers will not be able to sit alongside others. Yet, the viewing experience is somewhat similar to Venues. The TNT VR application does feature virtual reality commercials for its viewers.

The latest wave of virtual reality applications is offering one-of-a-kind experiences for sports lovers across backgrounds. The intensity of the experiences offered in virtual reality does have an impact on the real-life senses of some users temporarily. Hours of continual usage can make viewers feel a bit fuzzy while facing the real world without their headsets on. Yet, the social aspect of an app like Venues is quite appealing to many viewers. The court-side view is obviously the major driving force, along with the possibilities of various interesting conversations with co-watchers. The advent of such applications is transforming the entire concept of sports viewing for most users.

Virtual reality has come a long way in terms of the capabilities it is offering to users at large. It may be true that some watchers face a bit of exhaustion. But, the experiences being offered are ideal for vastly improving live sports viewing.


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