‘Recon’ Is A VR Teaser For ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

by Charles Singletary • November 12th, 2016

Various industries are tapping virtual reality when trying to innovate within their marketing departments. Though it hasn’t hit the majority of homes just yet, VR is something that can make in-store and event venue displays stand out. Previously we’ve reported on just this type of promo, including Adidas’ VR sport boot launch in London. Various films have even taken advantage of VR promos with experiences like The Martian. The Star Wars franchise has the benefit of having permeated nearly every facet of entertainment you can imagine, from toys to comics to entire expos, but the powers-that-be aren’t shy about utilizing VR, and Verizon has partnered with Lucasfilm for an experience that’s available in their stores exclusively from November 10th -13th: Rogue One: Recon – A Star Wars 360 experience. If you miss out, it’ll be made available on the Verizon Facebook page on the 14th.

Rogue One: Recon, developed by ILMxLAB, is a 360-degree video from the perspective of an X-Wing scout that just happens to come across the infamous Death Star along with another pilot. The two make a jump into dangerous territory and attempt to warn the rebels about what they find. The Rogue One film’s plot gets moving when the Rebels intercept a coded imperial message about a weapons test that ends up being the Death Star, so it seems the two scouts from Recon failed to make contact.  Although brief, Recon is a cool way drop fans of Star Wars into the story in anticipation of Rogue One.

The first viewing will have focused on the action, but second and third viewings let you appreciate a lot of details including the many instruments within the X-Wing’s cockpit. Rogue One: Recon is a snack sized feature with high production values, a signal that developers are putting their best foot forward with VR. The few minutes fly by and leave you wanting more at their conclusion, which is exactly what it’s supposed to do. Head into a Verizon store until Nov. 25 to see it for yourself.

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  • Buddydudeguy

    Let me guess; mobile only.

    • DougP

      Re: “Also 360 video is not “VR”.”
      What are you babbling about?

      360 degree video – is “best viewed” with VR hardware (HMD, 3D, headtracked viewing).

      • Buddydudeguy

        It’s not real VR. as in 3D. What are you babbling about indeed. fuck off.

        • DougP

          Re: “What are you babbling about indeed. fuck off.”
          Charming, for a babbler.

          Why were you babbling about “360 video is not VR”, you babbling babbler?

          My point stands – it’s appropriate for this site/VR discussion because 360 degree video (particularly 3D) is best viewed (if not designed specifically for use) with VR hardware. End of story.

          • Buddydudeguy

            Wow are you THAT butt hurt I said ” what are you babbling about” on another article that you gotta troll repeatedly using the same words? What are you, 12?

            I say again, 360 video is not real VR. Sorry to break it to you, your cell phone and $20 head set is not the real thing, nor is 360 videos.

          • DougP

            Re: “Wow are you THAT butt hurt ” / “fuck off”
            Wow, more eloquence, following “what are you babbling about”.
            Re: “What are you, 12?”
            So with “butt hurt” & “fuck off” & “babbling” …you must be a big boy, 14yo?

            Re: “I say again, 360 video is not real VR”
            You’re the apparent troll here. This article wasn’t about whether 360-degree video IS VR.
            Your post was introducing that topic – trolling or some unrelated gripe/grudge.
            My point stands – 360-degree video, particularly 3D, is most commonly nowadays designed specifically for viewing ON VR hardware.
            Your being intentionally obtuse, overly pedantic, or just tolling articles to post this unrelated commentary.

            I suppose you’re trolling posts about Arizona Sunshine’s “VR trailer” since it’s NOT a VR game/experience, but just 360-degre video?

            Re: “Sorry to break it to you, your cell phone and $20 head set is not the real thing”
            Seriously, WTF does that have to do with this topic?
            You equate an article about a VR game that has a 360-degree video to showcase/promote it to somehow saying “360 video IS VR”?
            You equate my saying it’s appropriate for the site/VR topic to discuss 360-degree video content such as this as it’s most appropriate to view on VR hardware to somehow saying a “my cell phone head set is ‘the real thing'”? [ whatever the hell ‘the real thing’ means ]
            You’re the king troll of diverting the topic [aka “babbling”].

          • GodMk2

            I can put it more eloquently… 360 degree video is not VR. The title of the post states “‘Recon’ is a VR Teaser for ‘Rogue One'”. If it had said “‘Recon’ is a 360 Video Teaser for ‘Rogue One'” this conversation wouldn’t be happening. As a minium for VR I’d expect 3D stereo rendering that is done by your GPU and so offers not just rotational head tracking but positional too… even if its an on rails play through. This may not seem important.. but it is. I’ve seen commercial operators offering VR experiences that turn out to be old 180 dome movies viewed thtough a headset. We need to stick to correct terminology so people know what they will be getting regardless of whether its running on VR hardware, but used as a 3d steroscopic display or even just a 2d display with tracking.

          • Braycen Jackwitz

            I wouldn’t go so far as saying positional tracking is required for something to be VR. Otherwise the Rift DK1 wasn’t a VR headset. Nor is the Gear VR.
            Basically, I think of anything running in realtime to be VR. If it’s pre-recorded, I don’t think of it as a reality. I think of reality being something that’s being simulated in realtime, not necessarily interactive, but a simulation happening concurrently with our real reality.
            I mean it really just comes down to semantics, but I’m not a fan of calling 360 videos VR. Especially not non-stereoscopic ones. Those just really cheapen the term VR and lower people’s expectations of the real deal.

          • GodMk2

            Yes.. cheapening what VR is is exactly what we dont want. Realistically the vive is currently the only system able to get close to what I’d call “Full VR” which not only gives you the ability to move around and look at a virtual environment but to interact with it using you hands. Hopefully touch will also deliver that level of interaction so badly needed to create natural immersion. When I was in Vegas I had a go on an M16 at one of the turn up and shoot ranges. I didn’t use A button to reload and didn’t aim by pointing my head. This is where VR can deliver as seen on Vive in games like Hotdogs and Handgrenades , Onwards and Raw Data where you literally manual reload and aim the weapon as you would in reality.

          • DougP

            Re: only system able to get close to what I’d call “Full VR” / “As a minium for VR I’d expect 3D stereo rendering”
            A lot of “what I’d call” / “what I’d expect” going on there.
            Glad we’ve got GodMk2 here to define all of this for us….(whew) thought the industry was going to have some input.
            Now we’ve know we’ve got a single source to go to.

            j/k aside…this is such a tiresome discussion.
            We are on a VR site, in a discussion thread about a VR game trailer, ostensibly best viewed in a VR HMD ( specifically referenced 3D, fitting the “Mario – I’d define as” definition of 3D – omg, 2x experts defining this? Hope you don’t conflict with one another)… debating semantics.
            You’ll note that I wasn’t trying to be the single source of defining what IS/IS NOT “VR”, I was pointing out that it’s appropriate for this site & being pedantic about this is tiresome. Badgering the author.

            Re: “Yes.. cheapening what VR is is exactly what we dont want.”
            Well… this *we* also doesn’t want to see this argument, without clear definitions brought up every time a VR game video trailer is brought up. Why not leave these arguments for articles on what is/is not VR.

          • GodMk2

            Its called the internet. Give an opinion on something important or shut up. Adhominems just wind people up. Tell us why you think calling stuff thats not VR is Ok. Should we ignore people who call fruit vegetables. This matters as most of the public dont know the difference. I’m aleady seeing people on social media say VR is dissapointing. When actually when qurestioned they reveal they’ve watched a grainy 360 video stitched together badly from some low qualiry action camera with the central pointbin the wrong place. This matters as lots of people are investing a lot of time effort and money into creating great INTERACTIVE VR experiebnces. Its important that one of the leading VR commentary sites gets this right and kabels things acvordingltly. Or we’ll lose VR again for another 20 years. So go ahead and disagree with me, but dont whine that I’m whining.

          • DougP

            Re: “Or we’ll lose VR again for another 20 years.”
            I’m not whining that you’re whining…but I disagree & think that you’re being sensational, inaccurate & overly dramatic. I’d have shortened that to “drama queen” but don’t want be accused of ad hominem. I’m not actually certain of the original ad hominem you’re speaking of (above), except my pointing out that you were writing a lot of “I think X” as if those were actual *definitions* of what is/isn’t VR….when we don’t have a definitive source to refer to.

            Re: “Tell us why you think calling stuff thats not VR is Ok”
            THAT is your take away from my comment?
            I don’t suspect re-explaining this again will help you understand, as my point should’ve been clear – we’re on a VR site, reading about a VR game, & a 360-degree video teaser for the game…. I thought it was pedantic to bring up the argument over 360-degree video not being VR, as it (a frigging VR game advertisement) would best be viewed in VR (particularly I called out 3D as being best).

            Re: “I’m aleady seeing people on social media say VR is dissapointing”
            Anecdotal & not relevant. We have no idea of the intellectual capacity of those you associate with social media, nor have you provided any evidence that this article (on a VR site, about a VR game) would/would not cause people to come up with their opinion.

            Re: “Its important that one of the leading VR commentary sites gets this right and labels things accordingly”
            That’s your opinion, which of course you’re entitled to, perhaps you can point them to the definitive definition of what IS/IS NOT to be labelled as VR? Share this *source* with the rest of us – else this 20year VR-less apocalypse may come about!

            Look…here’s the thing. I generally agree that it’s *better* if we use accurate labels. A related…but segue here… is that I wish that Oculus had released motion controllers with the Rift, such that this new (truly 1st gen) VR launch would include the likes of: standing/360-degree motion/room-scale & motion controllers – that *THAT* would be the minimum “full VR”.
            However, the road to VR, has been in baby steps of immersion – from mobile with google cardboard to GearVR & now Daydream(/whatever else they’re labelling w/motion controller) without positional tracking…. to Rift without motion control (initially 180-degree, seated & xbox controller) …. to the Vive.

            It’s pedantic & not very useful at this point to draw arbitrary lines with what is/isn’t VR as it’s already encompassing various levels & technologies.

            Back to the point of 3D video – we’ve got the likes of Imax going with higher res displays(/HMDs).

            Potentially 3D visuals, blowing away our Vive’s/Rifts/GearVRs/GoogleXs in visual fidelity, assume positional tracking (or at least rotational)…. but obviously we won’t expect interaction.
            Of some kid playing their 1st game with a Google Daydream (higher res diplay than Vive) & that little motion wand.
            Is there some value in labelling that kid / Imax viewer as a “non VR experience” because of some arbitrary line of delineation?

            My original point stands – 360-degree video, particularly 3D, and in the case of the article an advertisement for a VR game…is best view in a VR HMD.

            And I sincerely doubt that anybody reading this site is going to be so confused by the labelling in this article that it will be about a 20-year VR-dearth apocalypse.

      • Mario

        360 video is not VR

        360 video in 3D is VR

        • DougP

          What’s your point? I didn’t comment on this.
          This is an article on a site dedicated to VR, specifically an article about a VR game title.
          I specifically commented on the fact that 360-degree video (3D called out specifically) is best viewed with VR hardware (HDM, in 3D, headtracked for viewing). This is a fact.

          Or….every time a VR site, talking about a VR video best viewed in/with VR hardware, we’re going to launch into this discussion?

          • Mario

            360 video in 3D (Side by Side) you can watch with VR HMD only.

            360 video on Facebook or other web-platforms you can watch without VR HMD. And most people watch it without VR.

          • DougP

            Re: “360 video in 3D (Side by Side) you can watch with VR HMD only.”
            I’ve got a 3D projector & watch Side by Side video all the time. The frames are combined & then viewed through active shutter glasses.

            Re: “And most people watch it without VR.”

            Most people – source?
            Besides, I didn’t comment on most/less, I said “best viewed”. Wider field of view & head tracking is more immersive.
            So what’s your point?

            Also, you might want to debate GodMk2 (below), who’s apparently taken on the role of defining what is/isn’t called VR & seems to differ from yours [ myself, I didn’t attempt to define it ]. Maybe the two of you can get together & agree so that the rest of us aren’t confused about who to go to for this *definition*.

          • Mario

            You watch 360 video in 3D with your Projektor? I don’t believe this. I think yout watch normal 3D Videos with Side by Side.

            You said 360 is VR. I said a 360 Video postet on Facebook isn’t VR, and i believe most People watched it without a HMD.

          • DougP

            Re: “You watch 360 video in 3D with your Projektor? I don’t believe this. ”
            I don’t care if you believe in unicorns – you’re still wrong.
            I’ve only rarely watched a 360-video in 3D on my projector. Once or twice quite some time back, to test it.
            My response was to your additional case of being wrong:
            Re: “you can watch with VR HMD only”
            Because that’s false.

            I’m specifically working on methods for shooting & viewing 360-degree in 3D for underwater video. Which is why I’ve tested various video files & methods of viewing. Most likely I’ll go with the Vuze camera when it ships, as it’s the only somewhat affordable solution on the horizon.

            Re: “You said 360 is VR”
            I don’t know whether to be polite & say – wrong again. Or less charitable & just say – you’re lying.
            I never said “360 is VR”. Don’t try to put made-up words into my mouth & then justify your comment.
            If you weren’t making a blatantly false claim I’d suggest a strawman argument here – but saying I said “360 is VR” is just *unicorns*.

            Re: “i believe most People watched it without a HMD”
            Again, I don’t care what you believe in this situation. My original statement still stands & is true: 360 degree video (particularly 3D) is “best view” with VR hardware (HMD, 3D, headtracking) – for the most immersive experience.

            I find it hard to imagine that YOU believe that the likes of Google, Facebook, and a affordable consumer price point Samsung/Vuze/Nikon, are working on 360-degree (including 3D) camera setups …. all for the sake of viewing “on Facebook” on a 2D monitor. If you believe that your….surprise…*wrong* again. 😉
            No, these manufacturers are investing in 360-degree(+3D) technology to produce content for & cache in on VR – from GearVR & Rift, to Google Daydream & HTC Vive.

            The future of using VR h/w for media consumption is upon us.

  • spaceballkrs1 .

    Call it what it is, a 360 video is not VR. Not good or clear especially when ilmxlab have made a VR teaser called Trials on Tattooine. The headline says VR and I expected more VR especially since they made Trials on Tattooine. Headline is misleading clickbait.

    Despite dougp thinking that it`s best “viewed” in VR does not make it VR. It’s a 360 video being watched in VR.

  • fallentreegames

    Anyone know where this can be viewed on OR? I thought it would be on Oculus Video but it wasn’t there as of yesterday. Thanks!

    • spaceballkrs1 .

      It’s just a 360 video on youtube under STAR WARS official page.