Sky Shuts Down Its VR Premier League App

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There’s some bad news for Virtual Reality fans this week, Sky has announced the discontinuation of its innovative virtual reality app, Sky Worlds, which let people watch football and films in VR.

This decision brings an abrupt end to what was once touted as a groundbreaking blend of traditional broadcasting and immersive VR technology.

Launched with the promise of transforming the way viewers experience sports and film, Sky Worlds has carved a distinct niche in the evolving world of virtual reality.

Compatible with the Meta Quest VR headsets, the app offered users the unique opportunity to watch Premier League matches and Sky Original films in an immersive virtual setting – imagine watching a live football match with a 180-degree view of the pitch or enjoying a movie in a virtual cinema room.

Woman wearing VR headset 1200

However, this forward-thinking venture has now come to an unexpected close, leaving both tech enthusiasts and casual viewers pondering the future of VR in mainstream media.

The Rise and Fall of Sky Worlds

Launched as a beta version three years ago, Sky Worlds aimed to revolutionize how viewers experienced entertainment.

The app, compatible with the Meta Quest VR headset (formerly known as Oculus Quest), offered a tantalizing glimpse into the possible future of media consumption.

Oculus Quest VR headset
Oculus Quest (Photo: Deposit Photos – Dennizn)

Users could watch Premier League matches and Sky Original films in a virtual reality setting, creating an experience akin to being in the stadium or a private cinema.

The application’s standout feature was its VR 180 live matches, which enabled viewers to see the entire pitch and look around the crowd.

This immersive approach to sports broadcasting was a significant leap from traditional television viewing, offering a panoramic view of the action and a sense of presence at live events.

Sky Worlds VR sports screen
Sky Worlds

For film enthusiasts, Sky Worlds provided a unique cinematic experience. Movies were showcased in a virtual dark cinema room, complete with a large screen, replicating the feel of being in an actual movie theatre. 

Despite these innovations, Sky Worlds faced challenges that perhaps contributed to its closure.

Some users reported technical issues, which may have hindered broader adoption. Moreover, the content, although impressive, was described by some as limited.

And of course, while VR headsets such as the Meta Quest are becoming increasingly popular – they’re still a very niche product.

The Public’s Reaction To Sky Worlds

The app’s Meta Quest store page reflected a mix of admiration and critique from its user base.

One recent reviewer praised the app’s sports broadcasting, stating, “Sports is excellent and in HD the picture is very good, VR 180 for live matches is brilliant as you can see the entire pitch and look around the crowd.”

The same reviewer also commended the movie viewing experience, likening it to being in a real cinema.

Another recent review highlighted the potential of the app, despite acknowledging its shortcomings: “I’ve given the app 5 Stars despite the bugs and limited content because it’s obviously still in BETA and the future is bright.”

Well, it seems the future is not bright for Sky Worlds at the moment – with Sky’s decision to discontinue the app.

The End of Sky Worlds

This week, Sky announced that the app is going away:  “As of February 29th, we will no longer be supporting the Sky Worlds beta app.”

This means the app will no longer receive updates, and technical assistance from Sky will be discontinued.

This will lead to a gradual phasing out of the app’s functionality, eventually rendering it obsolete for its users.

For now, Sky has redirected its audience to its YouTube channels for news, trailers, and highlights, and reassures Sky TV subscribers that they can continue enjoying movies and sports as part of their existing subscriptions – just not in VR.

Of course, it’s possible that Sky will bring back the VR experience in some form, in the future – but for now, it’s time to say goodbye to Sky Worlds.

3 thoughts on “Sky Shuts Down Its VR Premier League App”

  1. This is very disappointing, it doesn’t feel right that this has happened, billionaire based company that can’t move forward with technology, VR is great for people with accessibility issues

    Reply
  2. They never really tried. The site never really developed beyond bug fixes from their original offering m. The entry of Apple into the market may ultimately mean the development of something worthwhile. 180 football was good (but too low resolution) but other content was very poor.

    Reply
  3. I think it is disgraceful that Sky is closing the Sky Worlds beta app, particularly at a time when Apple, Samsung, and Meta have introduced new headsets that are lighter and better than previous generations. Watching Sky on a Quest 3 has been excellent and I have used it for F1, Premier League football, and cricket. Fantastic. Many fans enjoy it as an alternative way of watching sports and the next best thing to being there.

    In addition, I had watched several movies when my partner was working.

    I was looking forward to watching the end of the Premier League season, and F1 commencing and hoping that Sky would expand its content of movies etc. to make it even more attractive. I was shocked and surprised that this is being discontinued with such little notice and it seems a huge pity that Sky has done this when the market is expanding. I am very angry and disappointed at this decision and I hope users will vociferously complain and protest that the service should be reinstated. The Beta program will close after 3 years and its timing is strange however this does not bode well for the future of Sky as an innovative VR media content provider.

    Reply

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