You’ll be able to get closer to the action at this year’s Summer X Games than ever before, as Samsung has partnered with the organizers to offer 360-degree video that can be viewed live in virtual reality. It joins a number of events that Samsung will make available to Gear VR users as part of its VR Live Pass series of Summer events.
Although watching sports in virtual reality has a lot of potential, it hasn’t materialized as a major component of big sporting organizations as of yet. However, Samsung is driving it forward this summer with a number of sporting events, beginning with UFC 212 at the start of June, in Rio de Janeiro.
The X Games is the next stop on its VR sporting tour and will see Gear VR owners given a unique perspective on skateboarding, as well as BMX and motocross riding during the Summer X Games in Minneapolis, between July 13 and 16.
It’s not clear at this time what the perspective will be like for the 360-degree cameras, but it will be a view that’s unhindered by the traditional bounds of a screen. Although viewers won’t be able to physically move around, they will be able to rotate their view along with their head, looking behind, in front, and side to side, in a full 360-degree sphere.
It’s is likely that, similar to the UFC 212 event, only portions of it will be broadcast in VR. While we don’t know how much of the show will be viewable, Samsung has confirmed that viewers will be able to watch skaters and riders like Jimmy Wilkins, Chad Kerley, and Jagger Eaton.
Along with the X Games event, Samsung is also working toward providing VR viewing for Gear VR owners at a concert in August, supported by Live Nation. According to RoadtoVR, the concert will be streamed from the United States and will feature an “international artist,” though details about who that will be, or even when exactly it will take place, have yet to be announced.
Although still in the nascent stage of its life cycle, virtual reality sports viewing is gathering traction and Samsung’s VR pass only helps that along. It’s joined by the likes of the NBA, which recently broadcast some of the finals’ highlights in virtual reality.