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IMAX ’VR pods’ could put you inside your favorite movies… in Manchester

Virtual Reality experiences will be available at an IMAX cinema in Manchester, UK, by the end of the year.

IMAX is teaming up with Odeon to launch a new VR centre at the Printworks multiplex, where modular pods will be adapted to show different experiences.

IMAX says it is working with Hollywood studios in order to create movie-themed content, but also wants help from the games industry to offer experiences that would enable folks to sample high-end VR without the cost of buying an expensive headset.

Related: Best Oculus Rift games you can buy right now

We thought we could create a much better experience than you could get in the home, and at a much lower cost because you would pay on a per use basis rather than owning it,” said Richard Gelfond, CEO of IMAX (via EandT).

“Our plan is to develop content consistent with movies. I’ve been using, by way of example, Mission Impossible 4 – Tom Cruise climbed the Burj Khalifa. You could race Tom Cruise to the top of the Burj Khalifa.

“In time – the technology’s not there for it now – but you could race me and Tom Cruise up the tower and someone else could be standing at the top shooting down at you – hopefully one of your friends. But the idea is to take some of the talent and experience in a movie and create a fun environment around it and enjoy it.”

For the six-month pilot scheme, IMAX and Odeon will use the StarVR headsets developed by Acer and the Starbreeze gaming studio.

IMAX is also working on the opening of other VR centres in LA, New York, China, Japan, Western Europe and the Middle East.

If successful, the scheme could lead to the greater proliferation of higher-end VR, by exposing it to regular moviegoers.

Could this be the gateway drug to an Oculus Rift purchase for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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