While exploring San Diego Comic Con 2017 this past week, I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek into the ‘Future of Home Entertainment’ Experience booth, where a number of studios joined forces to show off new technologies that are well on their way to becoming the next generation of how we experience movies, television and video games in our homes. The booth itself had stations set up where you could experience different types of virtual reality simulations, one of them being the Oculus Rift, as well as showing off costumes and props lent to them from studios involved with the presentation, including the Star Lord and Gamora costumes from this summer’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2.’
The first station I went to had 3 different VR options to choose from, so I, of course, asked to do each one (don’t worry, there wasn’t a line when I was there). The first one was a first person shooter based on the ‘Suicide Squad‘ movie where you play as the various members of the anti-hero team shooting down the scabbed attackers from the film. Next, I sat alongside Will Arnett’s LEGO Batman in the LEGO Batmobile as he took me along on an adventure in Gotham City for a heroic tutorial on how to become his sidekick. And lastly, I dove into the world of ‘Ghost in the Shell‘ where I watched a fight scene from the perspective of Scarlett Johanson’s Mira, and could use the headset to slow down or speed up the fight, creating my own epic fight scene and cinema style based on how I turned my head and what speed I wanted to watch the punches land.
From there, I moved onto the first Oculus station, based on the world of ‘Alien: Covenant,’ which I’ll tell you right now, was disgusting. The simulation put you in the perspective of one of the alien’s being born within a human body, watching your own form grow bigger and bigger, breaking bones and eventually pushing itself out of the skin of the host, dripping blood everywhere and emerging to find screaming humans outside. It was, to put it mildly, disturbing.
Lastly, the final Oculus station featured a behind the scenes documentary from this summer’s ‘The Mummy’ from Universal, where Tom Cruise and the crew of the film show how they actually shot the plane crash on a real zero-G plane. What was really interesting about this demonstration was that they had you sit in this red, half bubble chair, that moved with the camera of the Occulus, tilting when the zero-G kicked in on the video, giving you the physical sensations of being a part of the video.
The entire booth was immensely entertaining, and while the technology is clearly not perfect just yet (the headsets still feel bulky, the image quality is still low-rez and not quite clear), it is exciting to see where the home entertainment industry might be heading in the next few years!