Whilst there’s plenty of software, videogames and services for virtual reality (VR) there aren’t as many services as dedicated to the idea of the virtual desktop as that from the team at Bigscreen. Since it first came onto the scene back in 2016 the company has diligently been improving the software which supports both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on PC. Whether you want to use your computer in VR, play a videogame, mess about with virtual objects, hang out with your friends in a movie theatre, a virtual forest or any other location
Over 2017 the improvements have continued. April saw a patch that began to pave the way for an inevitable version 1.0, as well as made a number of significant performance increases. September saw the Avatar Update, which along with a number of changes to how users could represent themselves whilst using the app also saw the rollout of a number of design changes. October saw a number of new environments added to the service, both ‘professional’ and ‘casual’ in their tone. October also saw the developer Bigscreen, Inc generate a sizable $11 million (USD) in additional investment.
Now though Bigscreen are set to round of 2017 with quite the coup as they have announced a team up with movie studio Paramount Pictures in order to bring the film Top Gun to the service’s virtual cinema. And not just any version of Top Gun but Top Gun 3D. There’ll be multiple showtimes available for those who have the need… the need for speed, starting on December 29th at 6:00PM EST there’ll be “multiple showtimes” over the course of a twenty-four hour period. Bigscreen owners will be able to see the film for free.
“Bigscreen’s virtual reality platform offers a new way for fans to experience films in their homes.” Commented Bob Buchi, Paramount Pictures’ President of Worldwide Home Media Distribution. “We’re excited to be a part of this experiment using cutting-edge technology to give fans a new entertainment option.”
It is though likely at this point you’re asking the question of why the decision to broadcast the film in VR in 3D.
“Why 3D movies? The first time we watched a 3D movie in Bigscreen, we were blown away.” Explain Bigscreen in a recent update blog. “It didn’t feel gimmicky. Nobody got headaches. Subtle hints of depth greatly enhanced the immersion. 3D TVs never took off, but this is different, and you need to experience it to believe it. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to watch 3D movies since online video streaming services only provide 2D content. It’s a tedious process to load BluRay discs and watch in Bigscreen. By working directly with movie studios like Paramount, we can provide amazing 3D movies directly to our users, without any additional configuration or hardware.”
As for why it’s not on-demand? There’s a social aspect to going to the cinema that Bigscreen don’t want to lose.
“We want to curate events with amazing 3D movies and video content that people love. Events give VR users a reason to put on the headset every week at a specific time, bringing a critical mass of people online at the same moment and making our social VR events feel alive.”
If a success it is likely that future tie-ups will be possible. VRFocus will keep you informed of these as we move into 2018.