The Sky VR virtual reality app has finally launched, and you can download it for free right now.
The app, which was first announced in July, features exclusive 360-degree content, and is available to download on Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and any VR headset that docks a smartphone running iOS 8.1 or Android 5.0 Lollipop or later – starting from 10am today.
The app will be updated with content regularly, and showcases a range of VR-friendly content produced by the Sky VR Studio, which launched back in March. Sky’s partner brands will also be providing content; early examples include Star Wars: Red Carpet, Anthony Joshua: Becoming World Champion, and clips from Disney’s The Jungle Book.
Sky is also launching the app with a VR experience called Sky Sports: Closer, which features David Beckham entering a “Sky VR simulator” that transports him (and you) to some of the world’s best sports events.
“It was great to work with Sky and Google on this film to launch the new Sky Virtual Reality app,” said David Beckham. “The team from the Sky VR studio came up with an incredible concept that shows the range of sport Sky offers. Being able to take other sports fans on a journey into some of the world’s biggest sporting events was a unique opportunity.”
Right now, here’s what you can check out on the Sky VR app:
- Star Wars: Red Carpet
- Anthony Joshua: Becoming World Champion
- Disney – The Jungle Book (VR experience clips)
- Fox – The Martian Sneak Peek
- Warner Bros. – Suicide Squad – Squad 360
- Team Sky – Journey to the Tour
- F1 – Team Williams
- Sky News – Calais: The Jungle
- Baobab Studios – Invasion
- Jaunt – Paul McCartney: Dance Tonight
“Interest in VR content is building, generating moe excitement every day,” said Gary Davey, MD of Content at Sky. “We are just at the beginning of our VR journey at Sky, launching Sky VR studios earlier this year, and we are already breaking new ground.”
He continued: “Now comes the creative challenge of deploying this immersive experience with engaging storytelling. I am a big believer.”
Other upcoming content includes Sky News coverage of the US Elections, an “immersive re-imagining” of Giselle by the English National Ballet, as well as Tutankhamen’s Tomb – The Search for Nefertiti.
You can download the Sky VR app from the Apple app store, Android’s Google Play store, or via Oculus Home. Your phone will also need an internet connection with a recommended download speed of 5Mbps. Sky says you shouldn’t use the app if you’re younger than 16, and that you should take breaks after 15 minutes of use if you’re using Google Cardboard.
Stephen Nuttall, Senior Director at Google and YouTube, said: “Great storytelling from Sky, in VR, for free on YouTube, and all accessible through Google Cardboard – a winning combination! Whether you’re passionate for sports or Beckham (or both!), this great partnership enables wonderful VR experiences for all to enjoy.”
The app is available in the UK, USA, Italy, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, and France.
Related: Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive
Watch: PlayStation VR – Everything you need to know
Do you own a virtual reality headset yet? Let us know in the comments.