I’m an absolute NBA nutcase. I love watching games every single night. I manage multiple fantasy NBA teams. So it should come as no surprise that over the years I’ve been eager to watch NBA broadcasts in VR. Unfortunately, up to this point, I’ve never been wowed by an NBA game in VR. At best, they give you a few new camera angles to watch the game from.
Just a couple of weeks ago, though, the Brooklyn Nets showcased a new way of producing NBA games in VR that I think finally makes the experience worth talking about.
They call it the Netaverse. The Netaverse is a VR simulcast of Brooklyn Nets games. But it’s not just a big screen in VR. They’re literally scanning and rendering the actions of all 10 players on the court in real-time. In other words, it’s like a real version of an NBA 2k video game.
I believe the Netaverse is more than just an NBA experience though. The Netaverse proves a new tech stack for producing live events concurrently in physical space and VR.
If an NBA game can be rendered live with little lag in VR, then what other avenues can creators apply this tech too? We discuss what the Netaverse means for other live events below:
I’m fascinated by the idea of “what VR experience is going to finally turn VR from a hobby into a habit on a mass scale?”
When I ponder on that prompt I always come back to group events. They seem like the most compelling way to drive the habit home. If I could watch Chicago Bulls games in a VR environment like the Netaverse, and connect with other Bulls fans in the process, then I’d tune in to all 82 games of the year.
Imagine if all of the medal finals in the Olympics were rendered in this VR format like the Netaverse? How would that change people’s perception of the Olympics? Would it reignite Olympics obsession in a new crowd?
Fashion shows make a lot of sense for this Netaverse idea, as well. The stunning outfits ought to be scanned into a virtual file format anyways for NFT possibilities, but think about how fashion shows could be reimagined with environments that actually fit the fits. Versace could literally host their next Fall/Winter collection on an iceberg in Antarctica.
The Netaverse is far from finished and polished. We have a long way to go in live VR events. But this is a great little taste of what’s to come.
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