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Google launches Pixel Arena in NBA app for the playoffs

Want to add some fun to watching your home team shoot its way through the 2022 NBA Playoffs? Google and the NBA have collaborated to bring fans the Pixel Arena, an augmented reality experience inside the NBA app that enables basketball fans to play games based on real-time game data.

According to a blog post by Daryl Butler, Google’s vice president of U.S. Devices and Services Marketing, the Pixel Arena can be accessed during halftime, post-game, or in between games, and you can immerse yourself in games past or present. When you’re inside the Pixel Arena, you can pick a specific game and use the gyroscope in your phone to navigate around the 3D basketball court. The games involve answering trivia questions based on information from that particular game, such as how many free throws the Cleveland Cavaliers made in the first half or how many three-pointers a certain player shot. It also gives 3D recaps of the first half of every game by mapping out the shots players took based on real-time data gathered by NBA analysts.

The virtual arena also allows you to create and customize your avatars. You can give your avatars wild hairstyles, and face paint, and dress them up in uniforms to represent your home teams and favorite players, like the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, LeBron James, and Tyler Herro. Every playoff game that airs gives you the chance to unlock those items and more levels the higher you get on the leaderboard, and show them off on social media.

The Pixel Arena is the first AR experience developed by Google and the NBA, as the company is sponsoring the NBA Playoffs and the NBA Finals, which are presented by Google Pixel and YouTube TV, respectively. Despite its name, the Pixel Arena isn’t exclusively for Google Pixel users. It can be accessed by users of any Android or iOS device.

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Cristina Alexander
Cristina Alexander has been writing since 2014, from opining about pop culture on her personal blog in college to reporting…
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