There’s no doubt about it – immersive entertainment experiences have soared in popularity over the last few years. The technology relating to virtual reality, in particular, has recently come on leaps and bounds, with a number of headsets now available for those who want to be taken on a virtual journey like no other.
Whilst more and more people are jumping on the virtual reality bandwagon, live streaming also continues to be one of the most popular ways for people to enjoy live gaming and other entertainment. With many social media giants now investing huge sums of money into enhancing their live streaming experiences for their users, virtual reality and live streaming look set to do battle for the accolade of best live entertainment experience.
Virtual Reality and Gaming – A Match Made in Heaven?
The emergence of virtual reality looks set to both improve and revitalize a number of different industries but it looks a safe bet that the gaming industry is set to benefit as much as any. Although many gamers have been enjoying VR online experiences for a number of years, through playing 3D slots on online casinos for example, virtual reality looks set to go one step further and make the user feel like they’re both physically and mentally present within the game itself. Where 2D slot machines have been commonplace, the experience of being able to look around a virtual casino looks set to take the iGaming experience to another level.
Indeed, gaming looks to be one area where virtual reality trumps live streaming because, on the face of it, as entertaining as watching somebody play through your favourite game is, it seems impossible to feel as involved as you would do if you were playing the game yourself. Nevertheless, both mediums certainly have their merits and an interest in both areas is unlikely to be mutually exclusive.
Live Music – Would You Rather Be Present?
Unlike gaming, it’s a little more difficult to make the case that virtual reality has the edge over live streaming when it comes to music and more specifically, live events such as concerts and festivals. Singer Gwen Stefani was one of the first artists to stream a live music video and did so at last year’s Grammy Awards, pulling in an impressive audience of 25 million people.
In terms of genuine immersive experiences, there are a number of examples of bands successfully broadcasting their concerts in virtual reality, with popular acts such as Imagine Dragons, Matchbox Twenty and Coldplay all allowing users to enjoy a true live experience from the comfort of their own home. If anything, you could perhaps make the case that the live streaming of a gig gives a user a clearer view of the stage as opposed to the simulation of being in the crowd where you’re almost at eye level with the artists.
Source: Imagine Dragons via Facebook
Better or Different?
There’s little doubt that Virtual Reality can compete with live streaming tech in most areas of entertainment. However, it’s difficult to say whether one is truly more enjoyable than the other, owing to the fact that different demographics have their own preferences.
After all, there is a lot to be said for the more traditional methods associated with music and gaming. There’s little wrong with wanting to attend a live music gig in person and truly experience the atmosphere and ambience that brings to the table. Similarly, ‘standard’ video games are still proving extremely popular and some gamers would rather play as a character on a screen as opposed to feeling like they are the character themselves. The VR gaming revolution is coming, but it may well take time.
One thing is for certain though – Virtual Reality is adding another dimension to most areas of the entertainment industry and it looks set to be an enjoyable ride, even if we’re not quite sure of the destination yet.