Fox intros The Martian VR Experience, plans more VR content

Screenshot from 'The Martian VR Experience.' Image: Fox Innovation Lab

The Fox Innovation Lab this week will release the The Martian VR Experience, an extensive virtual reality title based on the film The Martian.

The experience will retail for $19.99 and will work with HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. The video lets the user be astronaut Mark Watney, stranded on Mars and navigating obstacles like sandstorms and explosives.

It’s a fairly big project for the early days of VR content development, but Fox told Variety that it intends to continue creating commercial VR titles. The company said that it looks at all the films on its schedule to find other titles that will work for similar projects.

Fox Innovation Lab President Mike Dunn told Variety that Fox intends to treat VR as a “new media opportunity” and not just a promotional tool.

Like Fox, other media companies are exploring VR technology – which is taking off amid an explosion of new hardware including Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Daydream – as a new means of storytelling.

The NFL and Google recently announced they’ll be working together on a nine-part 360-degree virtual reality series produced by NFL Films. The first episode is coming to the NFL YouTube channel on Thanksgiving Day, and to the NFL VR app designed for Google Daydream “along with other immersive content experiences” later this year.

Meanwhile, NBA Digital and NextVR have expanded their partnership and are now broadcasting weekly NBA games live in VR for NBA League Pass customers using Samsung’s VR headset.