Let the games begin! The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo are in full swing, but instead of staring at a flat-screen TV thinking about what it would be like to actually be there in person, this year you can get closer to the action with VR. Here’s how!
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To watch the 202o Tokyo Games in VR, you need an Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2 and the NBC Olympics VR by Xfinity app, available on the Oculus app store. In addition, this partnership with Xfinity allows Oculus users to host Watch Parties with up to three other Oculus friends exclusively in the U.S.
This viewing experience will allow all viewers to watch live and replay coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies and sports, including boxing, track and field, volleyball, basketball, and more. Additionally, pre-games leading up to the opening ceremony will be available.
Do not let the name Xfinity scare you; you will be able to watch live events and full-event replays through authentication of your cable or satellite provider. The authentication is pretty simple: All you have to do is simply log in to your cable or satellite provider, which will grant you access to the live events. If you do not have a cable provider, you will only have access to the featured content available on the app.
In previous years of the event, VR was available to watch on smartphones via Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, and more.
What to expect from the VR experience
The experience with the NBC Olympics VR by Xfinity app places you right in the action. Since there will not be an audience in attendance, people who can view the event via VR will get a front-row view. The Oculus Quest allows this experience to be wireless. Users can either stand or sit down to view the event and utilize the Oculus controls to navigate the app and watch the various events that are taking place. This VR experience will give you a 360-degree view of the events. Furthermore, the featured content will show you various training that athletes partake in for The Games, and it even places you in Tokyo to learn more about them.
Note that not every sporting event taking place during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be available in VR. Virtual reality requires special cameras to be placed in various spots, and with sports such as cycling, you can imagine the technical undertaking to cover the track and the constant movements.