20th Century Fox Announces Plans to Release VR Movies on Oculus Rift
Virtual reality is back and this time, it’s probably going to hang around for awhile. Anyone who has had the opportunity to try out the Oculus Rift VR headset (or one of the several direct competitors rushing to beat it to the market) can attest to that. Forget about the VR fad of the ‘90s – this is the real deal. It’s almost terrifyingly immersive. And now, 20th Century Fox has announced plans to begin releasing films straight to VR headsets, signaling a future where you can watch movies on a simulated big screen from the quiet safety of your home.
Fox made the announcement at the Oculus Connect event (via Fast Company), revealing that roughly 100 titles will be available to rent or buy through the new Oculus Video service. With their headsets on, viewers will occupy a digital world where they can look 360 degrees in any direction and in that world will be a screen on which they can view the movie of their choice. Whether users decide to watch a movie on a simulated TV screen or a simulated screen the size of an actual movie theater is a decision left up to them.
Although the full list of Fox titles isn’t available yet, we know that Birdman, Alien, Die Hard, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and Cast Away will be among the first wave. Lionsgate also announced its involvement with titles like Pulp Fiction and The Hunger Games.
Of course, this announcement doesn’t mean much to the average movie fan...yet. With the Oculus Rift headset expected to finally ship in 2016 and other competitors not far behind it, VR is soon going to invade all kinds of media. Expect to start hearing more about movies made specifically for this kind of experience, with special cameras capturing 360-degree footage that will allow viewers to literally immerse themselves in a story. Like it or not, this kind of tech is going to be entering your world very soon.
We don’t think Oculus Video is going to replace traditional televisions and movie theaters anytime soon. After all, it’s hard so snuggle up with a loved one or share an amazing audience moment in your virtual world. Still, this is fascinating technology with all kinds of potential applications to thrill and delight us. Seeing a major studio like Fox get involved so early is a sign that this new way of watching movies may very well be here to stay.