You’ve heard of reality TV, but the next big thing is virtual reality TV! Netflix has already made itself the biggest name in TV and movie streaming, and even at producing quality original content, and the next step for the hot company is virtual reality. Starting this week, Netflix subscribers can view the service’s vast catalogue through Gear VR.
Oculus, the company behind Virtual Reality gear, announced the big news on its blog. The new made-for-VR Netflix app includes the Netflix Living Room, a cozy virtual room with couches and a huge television. The large television displays Netflix’s streaming movies and shows as three-dimensional images.
John Carmack, CTO of Oculus, developed the VR app with the engineering team at Netflix. Carmack and his team optimized the app so that anyone with the system requirements can view two hours of Netflix at 70% of battery charged.
The concept is still new, but it is definitely enticing to imagine yourself in the middle of the action-packed version of Hell's Kitchen presented in Daredevil, or sitting in the most interesting prison in the world with the cast of Orange Is the New Black, or exploring the literal Hollywood zoo that is the colorful world of BoJack Horseman. The new app will also include a social aspect, so that even if you can't be in the same room to watch your favorite show with some friends, you can be with them virtually. Other people can appear in your Netflix Living Room and chat with you on the side while streaming the same movie or show.
By now it's very clear that Netflix isn't going anywhere, and this virtual reality app could go a long way in influencing how and what the service goes on to create. The streaming giant continues to add new hit movies, shows, and most notably, popular new original series. It will be very interesting to see how the option of viewing in virtual reality will affect these new creations.
Some movies that you’re not likely to see on Oculus’ Gear VR, though, are the films made by James Cameron, who has perplexingly spoken against Oculus and VR technology publicly. Although he has obviously used the latest in video technology to create Avatar, and will continue to for the film’s three upcoming sequels, Cameron has called the excitement for VR and Oculus in particular “a yawn.”
On the other side of things is Guillermo Del Toro, who loves the new VR technology. The director is even hinting at using the Oculus technology for Pacific Rim 2.
So what do you think about virtual reality in the future of streaming content and making films? The best way to form an opinion is to try it out. We’ve put together a list of some of the best movies and a ranking of Netflix original shows that you should stream.