Samsung debuts MilkVR at CES, announces partnerships with the NBA and Walking Dead producer, David Alpert
CES has barely gotten under way, and already the VR announcements are coming in. During today’s press conference, Samsung announced MilkVR, an immersive video platform for the GearVR, available today from the Oculus Share store.
MilkVR offers a daily stream of 360-degree videos that, according to Tim Baxter, president and COO of Samsung North America, “will make the GearVR a must have.” The app will launch with 30 new titles and promises to deliver new content daily, “from music and sports to action and lifestyle so there’s always something fresh.” This could very well be the long awaited “Youtube of VR content” that we have been waiting for and as Baxter put it brings consumer VR to “more than within our reach.”
One of the first major experiences coming to MilkVR is a “mystery suspense experience” from Walking Dead executive producer, David Alpert and his studio Skybound Entertainment. Alpert was extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity to explore the new medium saying, “VR allows us to get really creative.” The experience, which will be released later this year, comes in short episodes and will be available exclusively on the MilkVR app. According to Alpert, the new medium “allows story tellers to push the boundaries in finding new ways of connecting with the audience.” Baxter posed the question to Alpert that we were all wondering, whether we will be seeing any zombies in the experience, and according to Alpert, “we are not ruling anything out.” I don’t know about you, but the idea of Walking Dead shorts in VR, or even some epic zombie short in VR, sounds amazing. But even if there aren’t any zombies in the series, it should be something amazing seeing as it is coming from Alpert and Skybound Entertainment.
Also of major interest is the promise of NBA content, which Baxter says will be “a mix of game action and behind the scenes footage from marquee events.” This could be the mainstream game changer that is needed to bring VR to the non-tech enthusiast crowd. For sports fans, like myself, this is an incredible new way to see the NBA, allowing you to sit courtside and actually feel like you are there, without having to pay ridiculously high courtside prices. It brings a level of immersion to the sports world that has thus far been unavailable, allowing you to combine the wonderful benefits of feeling like you are at the game with the broadcast benefits, such as commentary.
Beyond the NBA and the new series from Skybound, there will also be experiences coming from Acura, Artist’s Den, Boiler Room, Matador, Mountain Dew, Red Bull, and Refinery 29. It’s an impressive list of launch content and I for one am really excited to check it all out. The fact that they are promising new daily content is beyond awesome, and will really help to push VR into the mainstream.