Fox will be releasing more than 100 titles from its library to be available on VR cinema Oculus Video, including Alien, Birdman, Gone Girl, Taken, X-men: Days of Future Past, and Die Hard, with Lionsgate films such as The Hunger Games and Pulp Fiction also joining the lineup. The Oculus Rift headset isn’t available until early 2016, so in the meantime the films will also be available on the Samsung Gear VR headset.
It won’t be the fully immersive VR experience we’ve been used to seeing thus far, but rather users will find themselves in a virtual cinema, able to watch these movies on the big screen, bringing the cinema experience to their home or even to a hotel room.
Being the first of the ‘big six’ Hollywood studios to make this kind of partnership with VR, 20th Century Fox is taking a bit of a risk. Headsets are still in their early days, and although they work very well, they’re not exactly the lightest pieces of equipment to wear. Whilst it would be completely possible to wear a VR headset for the length of a feature, we can’t imagine it would be the most comfortable experience and could mar viewers’ enjoyment of either the film or VR generally.
It is, however, a good sign for VR and viewers that studios as big as Fox are taking an interest in technology, looking to further develop the movie making industry and find different ways to immerse us in on-screen stories. Teaming up with Oculus isn’t even the only step Fox is taking, with the studio’s Fox Innovation Lab also working on a completely VR film rather than just a VR cinema, “The Martian VR Experience”, a 15 minute story which will tie into the upcoming Ridley Scott release.
Main Image via Flickr © Sergey Galyonkin