Bigscreen, the social VR viewing platform, introduced paid movies late last year so you could buy a ticket to join people in watching a number of 2D and 3D films at set times, working more or less like a physical movie theater. Although you’ll still be able to do that through special, one-time events, Bigscreen is adding on-demand movie viewing to the list today, letting you watch its catalog of films whenever you want.
Bigscreen’s ‘Movies & Events’ update launches today, effectively replacing the ‘Bigscreen Cinema’ update from December 2019, which brought to the platform for the first time weekly films accessible at continuous, fixed time slots.
A catalog of dozens of 2D and 3D films will now be available on-demand, which includes the ability to control playback like you would any streaming service. The new on-demand system gives you 48 hours to finish your selected movie once you’ve started it, and will be available in up to 10 countries starting from $3.99 per film. Check out Bigscreen’s catalog of movies here for more.
For now, rental theaters are private, however the studio says you’ll soon be able to host your own public movie screening too, provided everyone pays their own individual rental fee.
Also new the the platform is the new Events menu, which includes a list of events, live countdown timers, and number of people interested in the event. These one-time only events let you watch things such as special movie showings, rocket launches, sports events, and other live streams with friends and anyone else on the platform. Although some events are free, Bigscreen says movie events require paid tickets, which start at $3.99 and vary by country.
Bigscreen’s unique appeal is its ability to mirror a user’s desktop and share it with other people, effectively letting anyone throw their own viewing (or gaming) party. This is well and good for your standard set of SteamVR-compatible headsets, which have access to a desktop in the first place, however Oculus Quest and Go users have to jump through a few hoops first to get that particular functionality to work, making the new on-demand video function that much more important.
Notably, Oculus shut down its own video purchase and rental service in 2018 due to that lack of consistent revenue, so we’re hoping that with the new rental service Bigscreen can crack the code to make a healthy and vibrant service that doesn’t fall to the wayside. Since last July all users have been able to watch select live TV channels for free, although the on-demand rental service puts the company in a good position to understand where its users are spending their time, and more importantly, their money.
Bigscreen supports Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, all Windows VR headsets, Oculus Quest and Oculus Go. Find out how to download it for free here.