With football fans not being able to go to the stadiums due to the lockdown, some fans will at least get a live Premier League virtual reality experience next week, thanks to “Sky Worlds” – Sky’s new VR experience.
The service, which is still in beta, will feature the Arsenal vs Newcastle match on Monday (January 18), at 12pm.
Viewers will be able to “hop around the stadium”, changing angles and recreating the live experience – all in real-time, as if they were in the Emirates Stadium.
This new experience from Sky first launched last month, with a few Premier League VR broadcasts, including the Chelsea vs West Ham United match.
How Do I Get The VR Premier League Experience?
The VR experience will be a part of “Sky Worlds”, a new VR app which is available to everyone, but offers more to Sky VIP customers (Sky’s loyalty programme, which gives benefits to existing Sky customers).
This, unfortunately, means that the full VR service isn’t available to NOW TV subscribers (Sky’s streaming VOD service).
In order to use Sky Worlds, you also need a VR headset – and for now, it is only available for the Oculus Quest and Quest 2 VR headsets, the all-in-one VR device from Facebook.
Once you install the app on your headset, Sky VIP customers get the full experience, while non-Sky VIPs can only catch the latest Premier League highlights.
Normally, you can use the Sky World app to watch several Sky Sports live channels – Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Mix, Sky Sports News and Sky Sports NFL, in a “virtual living room” (while sitting with the headset in your real living room).
While watching the games on the “virtual screen”, you can also opt to view in-game analysis, watch and chat along with other friends, and get more information on what you’re watching.
Then, some select matches – such as next week’s Arsenal vs Newcastle match – give you the full VR experience, with the ability to switch between several cameras and angles that are spread throughout the stadium.
“Sky Worlds is a fantastic example of how technology can help replicate real-life experiences”, said Matt McCartney, Head of Immersive Technology at Sky, “And create truly transformative viewing experiences, something that is so important right now given the limitations fans have attending live events in person”.
Looking at the reviews on the official Oculus Quest app store, users of Sky Worlds have been very impressed with the full Premier League VR experience, when it was available – but are less interested at the regular “virtual living room” part.
“Sky, we really need this for each game”, wrote one reviewer. “The views around the ground are awesome. The screen in the middle is just right. You feel like you are there…”