New IMAX theaters may trade in massive screens for this VR headset

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With the Rift and Vive already on the market and the PlayStation VR just months away, it’s easy to forget about Starbreeze’s StarVR. However, the company has brokered a new deal with IMAX that could change the way you go to the movies, making it the official headset of IMAX’s new “premium location-based VR” experiences.

“IMAX sees a unique opportunity to combine premium equipment, more robust computing power, and expansive spaces to create a highly differentiated, destination based VR experience that will draw audiences out of their homes,” reads the official announcement. “The new VR experiences will be made available within select multiplexes as well as commercial locations such as shopping centers and tourist destinations.”

The announcement makes mention of John Wick VR, which Starbreeze is developing, and this raises an interesting question: will this “destination-based” VR involve setting up real-world obstacles for players. Dangerous as it may sound, nothing would be cooler than recreating the house assault scene from the beginning of John Wick.

Michael Bay, naturally, is “in advanced discussions” to bring his own VR experiences to IMAX and Starbreeze VR, though he stopped short of saying what those might be. A Pain & Gain weightlifting and steroid simulator, perhaps?

By the end of the year, IMAX plans to have six locations for its StarVR attraction, with plans for a larger release based on smaller-scale success. “We are big believers in location-based entertainment VR,” adds Peter Levin of Lionsgate, “and this is a great opportunity to expand the reach of our VR portfolio, including our John Wick episodic VR game and the other forthcoming titles we are working on with Starbreeze.”

If those “other forthcoming titles” include a Payday-style VR heist game, this partnership will be the greatest decision IMAX and Starbreeze ever make.

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