Everything virtual reality at this year’s San Diego Comic Con

by Will Mason • July 9th, 2015
So. Much. Cardboard.

The center of the pop culture universe has once again converged on San Diego for this year’s Comic Con as over 130,000 people gather to experience a five day long orgy of everything gloriously geeky. This year though, there is one gloriously geeky thing that is taking the convention by storm, and no – it’s not the rumors surrounding the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie. Virtual reality is inescapably Present at this year’s show.

Just look at Google Cardboard, this year the floor is absolutely flooded with them – and companies are giving them away by the literal truckload. Lionsgate Films (50,000), Conan (40,000), and SyFy (13,000) are all leading the charge bringing over 103,000 cardboards between the three of them alone.

Stormwind in VR

Stormwind in VR

Lionsgate is using virtual reality at this year’s Comic Con to promote two of their upcoming films, Crimson Peak and the Warcraft movie. As a WoW player in my former life (double glaives – still my top pieces of video game loot ever) it was pretty epic being able to fly over Azeroth for a moment (even if it was Stormwind – Forever Horde), but for someone who may not be a massive fan of the game it might feel a bit lackluster. There is little action going on in the scene other than the city itself – and it does nothing to clue us into the film’s plot. But for fans – which is who this event is for, after all it is a solid, brief experience. Crimson Peak takes you into a haunted house complete with the obligatory jump scares and Slenderman-esque character appearance. Legendary has made both experiences available to the public through it’s app, available on Android and iOS.

Conan O’Brien is also getting heavily into the VR game for Comic Con this year, becoming the first major talk show broadcasted in VR. The 360 broadcast is recorded concurrently with the broadcast for television and there are points in the flat broadcast that actually switch over to the 360 camera, which is controlled by the director. The clips of the VR broadcast will be available online on Conan’s website the day they are recorded thanks to a lightning fast production process headed up by Immersive Media.  Also put together by Immersive Media is SyFy’s Cardboard experience for it’s new show, The Expanse. The experience is fairly short – lasting less than 2 minutes, but takes you into a little of the backstory of the series. According to Variety, the experience is only the first piece of VR tie in content for the show, and that we should expect to see more. The Expanse VR is available to download on Android and iOS.

But it isn’t just copious amounts of Cardboard – theres plenty of other VR around Comic Con as well.

HTC Vive bus

We reported earlier that HTC will be demoing the Vive on a first come first serve basis as a kickoff to their Vive bus tour. But they won’t be the only little seen headset being officially demoed around the show. Starbreeze will be bringing Overkill’s Walking Dead experience, which was first demoed at E3, in a bus as well. The experience will be shown on the StarVR headset which has drawn rave reviews with it’s 210-degree horizontal FOV and 5K resolution. Those interested should head to Petco park across from the event, opening hours are on Friday and Saturday between 11AM-6PM and 6PM-11PM respectively.

StarVR Bus.jpg-large

Sony will also be bringing the Morpheus with them to the show floor, letting fans try a few different experiences. According to VRFocus, Sony will bring both sections of London Heist – the interrogation and robbery as well as the gun battle on the highway – as well as two indie titles Headmaster and Superhypercube to the show.

The Samsung GearVR will also have a significant presence on the floor. FX is bringing it’s show The Strain to VR in a two and a half long experience starring series regular Kevin Durand. But perhaps the biggest draw for the Gear at Comic Con this year will be porn. Naughty America, one of the top porn websites on the net, will be displaying a threeway experience at the show. In it you will have the chance to experience a threeway from either a male of female’s perspective. Expect plenty of “is that a lightsaber in your pants…” jokes anywhere within fifty feet of the booth.

Oculus, while not possessing an official presence at the show will be present on the show floor. TNT will be showcasing an Oculus Rift experience for its show, The Last Ship. The experience will have participants boarding a cargo ship that has been taken over by the Immunes (those who were immune to the plague that wiped out the planet in this universe) where they will revive the last remnants of the primordial strain.

It’s still early for the Con so we may yet see even more VR. We will be sure to report back with any more experiences we are able to find on the floor!

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