The NBA basketball league has launched a new virtual reality experience as part of an extended partnership with technology conglomerate Meta.
The experience will be accessible through Meta Horizon Worlds via Meta Quest, the official VR headset of the NBA and WNBA. It will feature live NBA League Pass games in virtual reality throughout the season.
The new agreement also includes the launch of NBA-licensed apparel in the Meta Avatars Store and authenticated NBA League Pass access in Xtadium, a VR sports hub app offering shared watching experiences in high definition.
The team apparel will allow fans to customise their Meta Avatar and showcase it on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and on the Meta Quest. NBA League Pass subscribers will be able to access their subscription in the Xtadium app in the coming weeks, enabling them to sit in a “virtual” courtside seat to watch live games and host private watch parties.
The NBA and Meta will also bring 52 live NBA League Pass games – including five immersive 180-degree monoscopic live VR games in 2880 resolution – to NBA Arena in Meta Horizon Worlds.
Supporters will be able to use the VR experience to watch NBA content with friends, compete in interactive mini-games and cheer on their favourite teams. Meta will also have a presence at major NBA and WNBA events to showcase Meta Quest technology to fans.
Jennifer Chun, executive vice-president and head of content partnerships at the NBA, said: “Our extended partnership with Meta will provide more immersive and innovative ways to experience the NBA. Meta’s digital world opens up exciting possibilities for NBA fans to virtually attend our games and to interact with other fans around the world.”
Rob Shaw, director of sports media and league partnerships at Meta, added: “Meta’s immersive VR technology is opening up new opportunities for sports fans to engage and interact with their favourite NBA teams.
“The NBA is always pushing us to innovate and leverage the latest technology to open the door to new fan experiences, and this chapter of our partnership achieves exactly that.”
The first game to be shown in NBA Arena was yesterday’s (Monday’s) clash between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Detroit Pistons. The schedule continues today with the Denver Nuggets vs New Orleans Pelicans.