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Could this help to spark more interest in Meta’s metaverse shift?

Today, Meta has announced the launch of XTADIUM on Meta Quest, which will enable Meta VR users to experience sports in a more immersive, engaging way.

As explained by Meta:

“Developed by YBVR, XTADIUM gets you closer to the action than ever before by delivering 180-degree virtual reality (VR) footage in up to 8K video quality. Real-time statistical overlays that you can toggle on or off let you stay on top of the game, and you can choose from up to eight different camera angles to get the best view. You can enjoy an event by yourself or create a private watch party for your friends to join.

That could be a great way to spark more interest in Meta’s VR offerings – which, after months of criticism and bashing, are in need of a PR boost right now.

I mean, really, Meta has repeatedly flagged that we are very early in the VR/metaverse journey, so we’re not anywhere near the fully-enabled experience that it has planned as yet.

But images like this, after Meta has sunk tens of billions into its metaverse development, haven’t been well-received by potential users or Meta investors.

The presentation of live sports, however, could add another perspective on the potential of VR, in experiencing events in a whole new way. And while sports experiences have been available in VR for years, this new activation could help to push things forward, and offer a whole new way for sports fans to engage with events, which could trigger more interest in VR engagement.

Especially if Meta can add some bigger events into its roster, and live sports as well. That’s a bigger ask, but it’s not hard to imagine, say, the NBA Finals in this format, or the World Cup, placing users in prime position to experience major events, in real-time, like they never have before.

For now, however, it is limited. XTADIUM is only available in the US, and only for a limited amount of sports.

But it does hint at the potential, and another potential pathway for Meta to win over more users to its metaverse vision.

I mean, the legless avatars still look a bit hokey, but still…