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Will NBA thrive in the VR generation?

Hype Machine
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Will NBA thrive in the VR generation?

I've made a few threads recently that focus on the broadcast of NBA games through various media mediums, such as cable, free-to-air and streaming etc. This time I want to look at watching NBA in VR.

I think we are all in the same opinion that cable TV is probably in its final decade and streaming will be the norm moving forward. Ratings show that cord cutting and cancelation of ESPN on cable is rampant.

I personally think NBA on VR will be a hugely profitable way to watch basketball and I think it will be a major feature in the next Television Rights negotiation.

Imagine if you could get a courtside seat next to Jack Nicholson at a Lakers game, including head tracking and surround sound. Or for a cheaper price you can get a seat behind the basket with all the beer guzzling fanatics.

Am I crazy, or is everyone else excited about watching the NBA in VR in 2022.

Is this realistic, or just another case of Hypes lifelong history of substance abuse rearing its ugly head once again?


SubZero
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Who are all these people

Who are all these people cutting cable? I know it's inevitable at some point but I really prefer that to streaming a game. Streaming is so unreliable and usually is always a bit behind, not to mention if your wifi's not perfect the quality goes down or it freezes then jumps ahead so you miss a few seconds.

Watching it in VR would be cool as a novelty but I'm one of those guys that would be perfectly fine (and probably prefer) to just watch it on tv on the couch or at a restaurant

Fritz
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Subzero

Hi Subzero, as much as I hate saying Hype machine is right, he is. ESPN loses a record amount of subscribers almost every single month and it is mainly because of cable cutters. It absolutely is a trend that were heading in. People are tired of the Time Warner Cable and Comcast companies holding a monopoly over cable in their area and making the customer their &$#%#&@!.

In terms of streaming quality, yes you are right its not ideal when you stream it illegally. But, with such things on the horizon such as google fiber, along with the increasing options of legal streams, the technology will soon be there where video quality and buffering will be a non-issue and there will be no difference in quality.

And I agree I would probably prefer TV over VR for most games, but the VR experience is nothing at all like TV, its more like a ride at a theme park. I think users will use both for the completely different experience they offer.

Ang Puti Lalaki
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What's cable?

Guess we will have to watch VR port to hold us over until 2022.

Cynthia
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The "VR Generation" won't

The "VR Generation" won't come for a minimum of 10-20 years. It's still fresh off the boat and frankly is too expensive for common consumption. Even most gamers have no interest in it, and that's supposed to be its main audience.

Currently there aren't enough games out, and the ones that are out are fun for 1-2 hours and then you're ready to get back to real gaming. This is as SubZero said a novelty item at this point and not considered a must-have by most.

Most of the current VR users are rich kids and 40 something year olds who think they are trying to be hip with the kids. VR has tried and failed numerous times in the past and while I think it has a better chance of succeeding in todays market, I just don't see it becoming a common home accessory for gaming or watching the NBA for that matter. It will drastically need to come down in price for that to happen.

For something to be a "generation" it would have to be widely accepted and used amongst the majority of the populace, currently VR is used by maybe 5% of the populace and even that guess is probably on the high side.

Fritz
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You are greatly underestimating VR

I am very knowledgeable on the subject, and technology in general and Cynthia you are very wrong with your estimate. It is not 10-20 years away from being mainstream its literally at the VERY minimum 2-3 years away. The technology is already there, the affordabiltiy is already there ($400 is not crap for a VR headset when we are paying 600-800 dollars on a smart phone now a days and its only getting cheaper while getting better)

Yes there are not a lot of games out yet but there will be plenty of titles as soon as next year. I currently have the Playstation VR headset. Depite there not being a lot of content out, I have shown this to at least 20 people. At least 15 of them have told me that it was the coolest experience they have ever had in there life. VR is without a doubt in my mind going to flip this world upside down in the next coming years and start to integrate itself into everyday life.

The experience is like being in a 360 degree imax theatre in the best 3D you have ever seen. A 3D theatre or 3D TV is no competition for the 3D in VR.

THE NBA IS ALREADY GOING TO BE STREAMING VR GAMES THIS YEAR IN 2017. Now its not a complete VR experience yet, more like 360 degree video, but it is absolutely amazing. You cannot compare VR today with VR in the past. Their is a huge difference in the latency of the headset, you literally cannot play older VR technology without feeling naseous, and that issue is now gone.

You are 100% correct it is right now a novelty item, but man 10-20 years from now VR will be so advanced that it will be unimaginable. I guarentee you this will be one of the biggest selling must haves in 2018.

The $400 dollar headset I have now would cost over 20 grand 10 years ago and would be 1/4th as good. The technology has advanced and is advancing at a rate much greater than the gerneral public realizes. I think in 2-3 years the majority of playstation owners will have one (a huge market) as well as a lot of computer gamers. 4-5 years from now it will flow into other applications and will be mainstream to those who are not tech savy.

Cynthia
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You seem less knowledgeable

You seem less knowledgeable on the subject and more a victim of the hype. While I can agree my 10-20 year estimate may be a bit high, 2-3 is definitely not realistic. $400 is a lot of money to a lot of people, you act as if it's nothing, not everyone can drop $400 on a novelty item when they need to spend that on groceries instead. The average phone user does not spend $600-800 on a new phone, most people keep the same phone for 3-5 years, and even then they use an upgrade plan which gets them a newer phone for half the price or less. You clearly are not the majority of people if you think $400 is nothing and you regularly spend $600-800 on phones.

I have no doubt more games will roll out, but currently my issue is that it's not so much the lack of games as the lack of content. Most of the games available now offer about 2 hours of content and then it's boring and repetitive. VR is a fun experience and I have no doubt 15/20 people you showed it to enjoyed the experience, but that's the thing, it's one of those things that's cool at first like a new toy but gets old fast and will quickly become something people stop using after a few weeks or months. Which makes it a poor investment in the long run.

Personally I dislike 360 video, the quality is terrible and I almost never finish those videos. Again, it's a cool little gimmick but it's not something people will want to watch for a long period of time. Obviously VR now days is better than it was in the old days, I was moreso referring to the hype and money put into it, it will most likely fail now just as it did then. Sales for VR will be steep at first, but will fall off quickly as people realize it's just not really that great, and it gets old very fast. As for your argument of it not causing nausea, that's just simply false. I personally have no problems with motion sickness, and after about 5-10 minutes of VR/360 it does in fact make me nauseated, many of my friends have commented the same, it's fine for a few minutes but eventually it will get to you. This will again kill the longevity of the product, not to mention the accidents it will innevitably cause with people breaking things because their vision of the real world is covered. You may say, well just don't be an idiot and flail around while using VR, but frankly most of the population are idiots and accidents will happen, deaths even will most likely happen.

Not to put you down, but you seem to be speaking 100% from personal experience and not looking at the broad picture, you enjoy VR and that's fine. There will be massive amounts of people who do, but it's just not going to ever be a must-have household item accepted by the massive populace. Even as big as video games have become over the last few years it's still not that big of a community overall. Only 17% of the worlds population play video games, and only 2%~ of those are active gamers, as in play multiple times a week. So 2% of the worlds population is the market for VR, you could be very generous and say half of those people may be interested in VR, that still only leads to 1% of the worlds population using VR. Opinions are opinions, but statistics don't lie. Granted these numbers came from 2013 so to be even more generous you could double them, and still be absolutely nowhere near being mainstream.

I appreciate your response and you laid out a decent argument, but you're just simply misguided.

Dolan Newspeak
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VR is too expensive,

VR is too expensive, especially if you give subscribers the option of full 360 viewing.

In my opinion, instead of VR, teams should put cameras on players. Perhaps on their headband, offer a first-person view of Isiah Thomas or Chris Paul.

Fans would pay a monthly service for the privelege of toggling between cameras.

nill650
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streaming is still a virgin

streaming is still a virgin no thanks

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