2016 was a great year for virtual reality. After witnessing the release of many heavily anticipated specialized headsets like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift to more consumer-friendly alternatives like the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View, virtual reality (or VR for short) has become more prominent than ever. This rise in demand and popularity for VR has led to an increase of content available to experience in VR.
2017 will see more of this content become popular, especially sports which is one of the most popular forms of VR content to consume. Largely based on providing an experience that is similar to attending the event, there are various sports VR apps available. This article will detail some of the best Sports Apps currently available to experience in VR.
Often known as one the world’s biggest streaming service and one of the most popular sites on the internet, the YouTube app provides one of the best VR sport viewing experiences. After initially launching native support 360° degree videos in March 2015, VR headset owners can see watch either previously recorded, or on rare occasions live sporting events from boxing to soccer on their headset device. A simple search filter for 360°-degree video will show that YouTube has one of the most comprehensive VR catalog’s available today not only for Sports but media in general. This vast amount of content coupled with easy access from the YouTube App from almost any VR device makes YouTube one of the best VR Sports Apps.
After rising to prominence by providing life like NFL highlights in VR, NextVR has become one of the most successful sport’s VR apps. With the company dedicated to getting people closer to the events they love, NextVr provides “a range of regularly scheduled content, including dedicated partners like FOX Sports and Live Nation.” NextVr’s partnerships with various companies like the NBA and Fox Sports allows them to provide recent and relevant Sports content. This approach contrasts with YouTube which is often devoid of current and up to date sports content due licensing agreements already set in place.
Some of the licensing accords NextVR has in place allow customers to view a range of premium services unavailable on competitors including content from traditional cable providers like NBC Sports, Fox Sports VR, Us Open Tennis, the NFL, and ICC Soccer. This arsenal of providers allows NextVR to differentiate itself from YouTube and prove to be one of the most successful VR sport’s apps.
Besides only watching sports using a VR headset, VR has helped revolutionize the ticket industry. One prominent service named Rukkus, not only enables customers to buy tickets, but to also experience their seat views in VR as they browse for tickets. After being founded in 2011 by Manick Bhan, Rukkus initially focused on providing the best prices available for tickets for events like concerts and games. While this practice continued, Rukkus later allowed customers to view how a seat looks like before purchasing. By combining VR and ticket purchasing together, Rukkus has made buying tickets for an event much simpler than before.