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How To Watch The 2020 Tokyo Olympics In VR

How To Watch The 2020 Tokyo Olympics In VR

July 23, 2021

Immerse yourself in everything from the Opening Ceremony to seven exciting events using the NBC Olympics VR app.

*UPDATE [7/26/2021] – We’ve updated the article to better clarify the availability of specific VR content on the NBC Olympics VR app.*

After significant delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Summer Olympics are finally underway in Tokyo, Japan. Over the next two weeks, audiences can look forward to 339 events featuring some of the most physically impressive human beings on the planet.

Thanks to restrictions imposed because of COVID-19, however, most of us will be enjoying this year’s excitement from home. Just because we’re stuck inside, however, doesn’t mean we can’t immerse ourselves in all things Olympics. If you have an Oculus Quest headset, you can even watch a portion of this year’s events in VR.

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Image Credit: NBCUniversal

As part of its broadcast partnership with NBC, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be offering a variety of 360-degree broadcasts accessible through the NBC Olympics VR by Xfinity app. Available free on Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 headsets, this nifty little app allows you access to hundreds of hours of Olympic content, from basketball and track & field to boxing and gymnastics, in immersive stereoscopic 360. The app features both live and replay coverage of select events, allowing you to catch the action as it happens or enjoy it later at your leisure.

VR coverage will extend to seven events in total, including beach volleyball and athletics, as well as the opening ceremony. You can also look forward to over 30 VR highlight reels and clips. All the above-mentioned content can be enjoyed solo or with up to three of your Oculus friends via your own private screening room.

Unfortunately, in order to access VR live streams and full-event replays via the NBC Olympics VR by Xfinity app, you’ll need both an Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2 headset as well as a subscription to USA Network, which costs a whopping $69.99. While I understand the reasoning behind exclusive broadcasting partnerships, it’s a shame more people won’t be able to experience this year’s exciting events in 3D VR, especially when you consider the Olympic’s history with immersive technology.

VR was used extensively as part of the 2016 summer games in Rio, allowing those on GearVR headsets the chance to enjoy VR coverage of events such as track & field, basketball, and diving. Similar technology was also employed during the 2018 winter games in South Korea. That being said, those without a subscription will still have access to select VR content on the app, including several pre-game features.

For more information on this year’s events visit here.

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