Have you always wanted to sit courtside at an MLB game, but you can’t bring yourself to pay the jaw dropping ticket prices? Get yourself an MLB League Pass and a Virtual reality headset and you can do just that! Well, Sort of.
The recent MBL finals saw a huge 8.14 million Americans tune in to watch the much anticipated game. Generally, most fans are used to watching the games on the TV, as the Chairman of NextVR, Brad Allen, emphasises “We’re used to watching sports on that rectangle on the wall” . However, nothing beats being involved in the action and immersing yourself into the intimate courtside environment.
The MLB boasts an ultimate unpredictability to it’s fans and is a respected league due to it’s huge team rivalries. It comes as no surprise that the idea of virtual reality baseball has now become a reality.
What is virtual reality?
To put it simply, VR is an experience of a situation that doesn’t really exist – the clue is in the name. Created by computerised systems, VR allows the user to interact with a 3D world by wearing a head-mounted device and applying some form of tracking.
This advanced technology creates an immersive and believable experience for the user allowing them to navigate and explore the three dimensional world around them.
It relies on multiple senses to be stimulated to increase the reality of an experience and make it more immersive for the user.
What do I need to get started with virtual reality?
So, you quite like the idea of using VR to watch baseball and you want to immerse yourself into the excitement of the crowd, but you don’t know where to start?
That’s why we have put together a guide that will help you get everything ready to involve yourself in the action.
Before you get started, you will need to get yourself a virtual reality headset. They aren’t the most fashionable of items; in fact you can probably imagine what huge swimming goggles look like!
In order to put the headset to use, you will need some additional items to get started. You will need a dedicated device that you will use to run the games – this could be an app that you can download onto your mobile phone or TV.
Although the appearance will be more or less the same for all virtual reality headsets, the technology may differ between some brands. Some headsets will only be compatible with a computer, whereas others will only require you to connect your mobile phone – so do make sure to check out the requirements and what devices your headset will work with, before you buy.
How to watch virtual reality baseball
You are all set up and your headset is ready to go, so let’s dive straight into the main focus of this blog and show you exactly how you can watch baseball in virtual reality.
The leading streaming company, NextVR, partnered with the MLB and now offers all baseball fans an MLB league pass which grants them access to all showcased matches throughout the season. Imagine how much fun you could have with your VR headset!
In addition to access to all live broadcasts, subscribers to the league pass will be able to view every MLB game on the NextVR screening room , as well as the immersive VR productions that come with the pass.
If you’re an MLB fanatic and want to try out your headset, you should probably get a league pass so you never miss a moment in what’s certainly a heart racing season.
How to watch MLB using NextVR
Capitalising on such advanced technology, NextVR works closely with the digital team at MLB to ensure this streaming service is accessible to all fans of this sport.
If you want to immerse yourself in the courtside atmosphere and mid-game rebounds, you need to buy yourself a virtual reality headset. As mentioned previously, it’s imperative that you check the compatibility of your device and whether it will work in conjunction with the NextVR app.
1. MLB Featured games
Last season the MLB showed one game per week in virtual reality, in collaboration with NextVR, although this is subject to change as the hype for such an immersive experience grows.
With such a large following, NextVR stepped up their game and ensured that all fans had access to an intimate and interactive experience. With nearly 10 cameras placed around the sporting arena alongside their own commentary team and match analysts, they focussed everything on providing the best experience to all virtual reality viewers.
Worrying that your favourite team might not be featured? Don’t worry – NextVR has strong relationships with all clubs and you can be confident that your team will definitely pop up in virtual reality games throughout the season.
2. Use the NextVR screening room
This is a fan favorite! A great way for all MLB fanatics to watch every game of the season in VR, and certainly get their money’s worth.
As we have already mentioned, NextVR broadcasts one game per week in virtual reality, so it’s a luck of the draw whether your favourite team is available in this extraordinary setting.
However, there is a way to watch MLB every night in VR – if you have time! With your league pass, you have access to view every game on your TV, as normal. NextVR has a ‘screening room’ option, where it takes the traditional (and boring!) flat TV experience and makes it more real. It takes what you would usually see in your VR headset, into another level and projects it onto their screening viewer. It’s like having a huge cinema screen in your front room – how cool!
3. Watch MLB with your friends
If you thought MLB in virtual reality couldn’t get any better, you were wrong! You can actually watch the games with your friends, even if they are in another country.
Due to NextVR’s new partnerships with Samsung Gear VR and Google VR, you can watch the live MLB games in virtual reality, with your friends and family from across the world.
Wherever you are in the world, you and your sports partner can grab some popcorn and pretend you are courtside beside each other, having a real time conversation about the latest happenings in the match. You can discuss opinions, tactics and analysis with your friends, all from the comfort of your own home.
Providing all guests have the appropriate equipment and wifi connection, you can all join an MLB arena to enjoy the latest games together – and make your MLB a social experience as well as a virtual one!
How to play baseball in virtual reality
As the hype for Virtual reality continues to grow, there are becoming more and more ways that fans of the sport can actually play their own game of baseball in virtual reality.
With links to modern consoles, Playstation and Xbox, users can download games such as: MLB The Show digital to experience the thrill of walking out onto the court surrounded by the crowds atmosphere. Players can use their virtual reality headset to compete in a number of fun and interactive virtual reality basketball games and competitions. With all of the sights and sounds of the professional stage, MLB The show has made it possible to shoot hoops, perfect your rebound technique and slam dunk to impress your friends.
Games of this sort also allow you to connect with friends and create your own virtual reality baseball match, usually a 5 v 5. This is great fun for all, and it doesn’t require you to all be together either.
Summary of virtual baseball
Virtual reality is still a very new technology and people are still learning how to use it in order to create a unique and immersive user experience.
As the technology industry shows huge growth potential, it’s exciting to see how virtual reality may grow and how complex it will become.
It’s clear to see how much mobile phones have developed over the last decade, isn’t it?
Let’s hope that in another decade or two, virtual reality will replicate that success and close the gap between actual reality and virtual reality.