This Week in VR Sport: Kicks, Hoops and Gunshots
Virtual Reality Football Club is here, the NBA is looking at AR and eSports is on the move.
As the second weekend of March is here it is time for VRFocus to bring you another edition of This Week in VR Sport. This week there’s football tackling virtual reality (VR), the NBA looking to augmented reality (AR) and VR eSports takes another step towards competitive showdowns.
Virtual Reality Football Club Launched
Developer CherryPop Games released VR football title VRFC: Virtual Reality Football Club this week on PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The title allows players to live out their dreams of playing the beautiful game in VR with all the movement you would expect. Kick, dribble, tackle, pass, cross, head and shoot with freedom thanks to the K4 physics system and what the developers call ‘Agile locomotion’. All of this playable with up to eight players online, with cross-play compatible making VRFC: Virtual Reality Football Club as close to the real thing as you would hope.
VRFocus’ editor Kevin Joyce reviewed VRFC: Virtual Reality Football Club saying: “While the videogame has many issues deriving from the limitations of the hardware upon which it is built, VRFC: Virtual Reality Football Club remains one of the best sports experiences VR has to offer. More than that however, it’s also one of the best social VR experiences currently available, with the tension of competition and the misery of defeat likely to help make new friends (and potentially enemies) across the VR community.”
You can read the full review here.
Boston Celtics Co-Owner Talks AR Use In Team App
The Boston Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck has spoken about the use of AR technology in the future of the teams’ app. Speaking at the 2018 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference the co-owner said: “We are building it into our Celtics’ app, we are going to have it at our games to enhance, for the second-screen viewing, even when you’re in the seats, with stats and data. We’re working on that and we’re not rolling it out yet.”
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the professional sports leagues that has been quick to pick up on new technologies, allowing for more engagement between the viewer and the sport. By bringing AR into the team app Boston Celtics will do just that, as Grousbeck described, creating a second screen experience. The NBA have made use of AR before in the form of the NBA AR mobile app that allows users to turn their smart phone or tablet into a hoop scoring videogame, thanks to Apple’s ARKit technology.
Grousbeck added: “I’m a believer in AR, I think it’s going to add a lot, but I still love sort of the old-school being in the seat, or sort of being right there and just soaking it all in. But augmenting that in an appropriate way can add something to it. I’m sure it will be a bigger part of our future.”
Seeing how the Boston Celtics make use of the technology within their team app will be interesting to see but with co-owner Wyc Grousbeck at the helm, it sounds promising.
VRcade PowerPlay Makes VR ESports Competitive
Lastly this week is news that VRstudios have announced the latest in VR eSports technology in the form of VRcade PowerPlay. This new location-based entertainment (LBE) solution mixes free-roaming, arena scale VR wih athletic, team-based eSports is designed for two to eight players allowing for unrestricted movement in a 60’x40′ configurable VRcade PowerPlay Battlefield.
The VRcade PowerPlay is another step forward for the VR eSports scene as it continues to grow. Speaking about the announcement, Kevin Vitale, VRstudios’ CEO said: “Everyone recognises that eSports are increasingly popular and we believe that the release of VRcade PowerPlay is literally a ‘game-changer’. It’s the next generation of eSports that adds true athletic activity over a large format playing field, and it can be deployed by any LBE operator.” “While complementary to our other systems and attractions, VRcade PowerPlay creates a whole new category of location-based VR entertainment for both players and spectators. It also opens the door to a number of new business models and branding options going forward for LBE operators and sponsors.”
Another week, another set of exciting developments in the world of VR sports. For more on immersive sport news keep reading VRFocus and remember to check back next week for another This Week In VR Sport.