The NBA announced it’s expanding the number of games it’s recording for Quest headsets by a wide margin, bringing a ton of 180-degree immersive games to NBA League Pass holders.

Games will be available in both through the Xtadium app on Quest and Meta Horizon Worlds—both of which require the NBA League Pass subscription viewing service to access. Games on Xtadium have already begun, while games on Horizon Worlds kick off November 17th.

NoteXtadium and NBA League Pass VR games are only available in the US.

Each app has it own perks. Xtadium lets you do a ‘Watch Party’, where you can invite friends to join you in your own private party room and catch the game together in VR as avatars. It also lets you watch games on-demand, watch up to eight games in 2D simultaneously, and watch games in mixed reality mode.

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The NBA Arena in Horizon Worlds is set to include interactive games like the Slam Dunk Jam and Basket Blitz. There’s also set to be plenty of opportunities to mess around in a stadium environment, unlock stickers, emotes, exclusive avatar wearables, and access to the VIP Lounge by attending immersive games or playing mini-games in NBA Arena. You’ll even be able to buy your avatar NBA or WNBA team apparel, which you can wear in VR as well as on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.

As always, the standard set of NBA League Pass geo-restrictions apply, which means some games may not be available in all regions, and viewers located near the physical event may be unable to view it based on localized restrictions.

Here’s the full schedule:

  • October 25 // Atlanta Hawks vs. Charlotte Hornets // 4:00 pm PT
  • October 28 // Memphis Grizzlies vs. Washington Wizards // 4:00 pm PT
  • October 30 // Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks // 5:00 pm PT
  • November 3 // Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder // 5:00 pm PT
  • November 6 // San Antonio Spurs vs. Indiana Pacers // 4:00 pm PT
  • November 10 // Minnesota Timberwolves vs. San Antonio Spurs // 5:00 pm PT
  • November 14 // Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Pelicans // 5:00 pm PT
  • November 17 // Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks // 4:30 pm PT
  • November 18 // New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Hornets // 3:00 pm PT
  • November 21 // Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic // 4:00 pm PT
  • November 24 // Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers // 5:00 pm PT
  • November 25 // Los Angeles Lakers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers // 4:30 pm PT
  • November 28 // Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics // 4:30 pm PT
  • December 2 // Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat // 5:00 pm PT
  • December 11 // Denver Nuggets vs. Atlanta Hawks // 4:30 pm PT
  • December 14 // Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat // 4:30 pm PT
  • December 16 // Philadelphia 76ers vs. Charlotte Hornets // 4:00 pm PT
  • December 18 // LA Clippers vs. Indiana Pacers // 4:00 pm PT
  • December 20 // Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls // 5:00 pm PT
  • December 21 // San Antonio Spurs vs. Chicago Bulls // 5:00 pm PT
  • December 23 // San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks // 5:30 pm PT
  • December 27 // New York Knicks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder // 5:00 pm PT
  • December 30 // Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves // 5:00 pm PT
  • January 2 // Boston Celtics vs. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 5:00 pm PT
  • January 6 // Utah Jazz vs. Philadelphia 76ers // 4:30 pm PT
  • January 8 // Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers // 4:00 pm PT
  • January 9 // Portland Trail Blazers vs. New York Knicks // 4:30 pm PT
  • January 13 // New York Knicks vs. Memphis Grizzlies // 5:00 pm PT
  • January 15 // Indiana Pacers vs. Utah Jazz // 6:00 pm PT
  • January 20 // San Antonio Spurs vs. Washington Wizards // 4:00 pm PT
  • January 21 // Denver Nuggets vs. Washington Wizards // 3:00 pm PT
  • January 26 // Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Milwaukee Bucks // 5:00 pm PT
  • January 28 // Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Detroit Pistons // 3:00 pm PT
  • January 29 // New Orleans Pelicans vs. Boston Celtics // 4:30 pm PT
  • February 2 // Miami Heat vs. Washington Wizards // 4:00 pm PT
  • February 3 // Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers // 3:00 pm PT
  • February 5 // Dallas Mavericks vs. Philadelphia 76ers // 4:00 pm PT
  • February 9 // Charlotte Hornets vs. Milwaukee Bucks // 5:00 pm PT
  • February 12 // Denver Nuggets vs. Milwaukee Bucks // 5:00 pm PT
  • February 26 // Brooklyn Nets vs. Memphis Grizzlies // 5:00 pm PT
  • March 1 // Indiana Pacers vs. New Orleans Pelicans // 5:00 pm PT
  • March 4 // Portland Trail Blazers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves // 5:00 pm PT
  • March 11 // Phoenix Suns vs. Cleveland Cavaliers // 4:30 pm PT
  • March 15 // Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs // 5:30 pm PT
  • March 16 // Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Houston Rockets // 2:00 pm PT
  • March 21 // Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks // 5:30 pm PT
  • March 24 // Golden State Warriors vs. Minnesota Timberwolves // 4:00 pm PT
  • March 29 // Phoenix Suns vs. Oklahoma City Thunder // 5:00 pm PT
  • March 31 // Los Angeles Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets // 3:00 pm PT
  • April 5 // New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls // 5:00 pm PT
  • April 7 // Sacramento Kings vs. Brooklyn Nets // 4:30 pm PT
  • April 12 // Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers // 4:00 pm PT
Newsletter graphic

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Christian Schildwaechter

    Interesting development. The NBA teamed up with NextVR in 2015 to stream games live in 180°, initially on Gear VR and Oculus Go, getting rather positive feedback for the immersive experience. That cooperation continued until 2020, when Apple bought NextVR, which then terminated all their services saying they were “heading in a new direction.”

    Apple was/is expected to use NextVR technology/patents to offer high quality VR streaming of concerts and sports events. Before the acquisition, NextVR was working on 6DoF light field recording. While 180° video uses two parallel cameras at about eye distance, light field cameras are basically a large number of small lenses in front of an image sensor that record the image from slightly different perspectives. This allows to later “move” within the recorded image or change the focus depths, so it feels more “live” than 3DoF stereoscopic 180°.

    NextVR’s exclusive deal with the NBA apparently expired, and it would be interesting to know if Meta’s deal with them is exclusive, at least for VR. Amazon has multi-billion streaming deals with WNBA, Thursday night football and more, Youtube/Google at least negotiated with the NFL for Sunday, a package Apple backed out from last minute. Apple instead signed a 10 year, USD 2.5bn partnership with Major League Soccer in 2022, not only for streaming, but for developing “future types of broadcasting”, and the NFL apparently didn’t want to negotiate on content that don’t exit yet. So all the digital giants are heavily investing into sports broadcasting, and apparently Meta does too.

    • MeowMix

      The NBA has featured Oculus/Meta Quest branding for a few years now during their live games and half time shows, this is nothing new.

  • Nevets

    When I saw a few of the sample next VR videos on Quest 2, a while back, it was weird because all the people on it were tiny. They were about two-thirds of their original size. It was like watching a semi lifelike model village. I wonder if this has improved in the meantime.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Hm, NextVR stopped all their services before the Quest 2 was even released, and they had never ported the Go app to Quest. So I suppose what you saw were side-by-side videos on YouTube, recorded on Gear VR/Oculus Go?

      That may explain why the dimensions were off. Reviews of the original app usually described the experience as pretty close to actually being there, and everything being shrunk down would have been noticed. The main problem mentioned was the quality of the stream.

      • Nevets

        Yeah I can’t quite remember which platform as I also had the Go, but hopefully it has been sorted now!

      • I watched some NextVR videos on PSVR years ago and the NBA ones were definitely stereoscopic 3D, but the players looked way too small because the cameras they were shot with were too far apart. For someone with a wider IPD than me (mine’s 63-64mm), the scale wouldn’t have been as off though.

  • Arno van Wingerde

    Hm… considering that most of the time, Meta seems to have trouble remembering that there is life beyond the good old USA, for instance in some semi mythical country called Europe, I believe the capital is Denmark or some such…. So far many events are limited to US and Canada. In this case that is not too bad since few people in Europe would be interested in NBA (hint the key is in the “N’ of NBA).
    But seriously, more of these events should be world wide. Like the Meta Connect that could watched on flat screens only…

    • arczi79

      Looks like Meta is interested only in USA market. In Australia all events are blocked as well… and part of applications also (as the Horizon Worlds).

    • ViRGiN

      It’s due to licensing. Netflix is also region locked.

    • MeowMix

      Billion dollar organized sporting organizations will always include strict licensing and region locks. That’s hardly Meta’s fault

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      The US has the largest market share in VR with est. 80%. They sold Quest 2 in 21 countries with ~12% of the world population, with the US having ~32% of the potential buyers.

      And it is not only due to the country’s size, VR is also more popular there. When the Quest 2 facepads were recalled North America in 2022-07, the first official numbers became available from the recall information, stating 4mn units in the US and 172K in Canada. So 1 in 83 US citizens bought a Quest 2 (facepad), but only one in 233 Canadians. At that time estimates for total sales were 5mn Quest 2, leaving only 800K for Europe and four other countries.

      Meta also runs into more regulatory problems in the EU, causing them to not sell Quest 2 in Germany until 2022-12, despite it being the most populous EU country with a large established VR market. For a developing market still losing money it is as least understandable that Meta would focus onto their home turf, where Quest is more popular and their methods more accepted. I understand that they aren’t too keen on investing a lot for multi-language support and dealing with cultural differences for what is effectively a small fraction of their market. US companies are much more willing to deal with the EU, once its rather wealthy population 1/3rd larger than the US has actually embraced their products. I’d expect them to push XR globally once they have figured out how to make it attractive to the masses, but we aren’t there yet.

      • arczi79

        Nothing of that what you said explains why it is so much limited in Australia. Looks like they just don’t care about other markets (even it is market with English language).

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          The popularity and policy issues still apply. As mentioned, Quest is much less popular in Canada, which is enough to make is treated differently, even though it is right next to the US and another English speaking country. As VR usage always drops during warmer summer months due to less comfort from the heat and sweat, I’d guess that VR usage is again less popular in on average much hotter Australia than the US.

          Add a less dense population and more than 10,000km of water between them. My understanding from Hardware Unboxed videos is that not only Meta is neglecting Australia compared to easier to reach countries. And that is without region specific license deals and having to deal with different tax and import laws. I’m not saying that this is good or acceptable in the long run, just that it is understandable while the basics of the market/technology are still developing.

          • arczi79

            I hope you understand that the amount of money spent for advertising the product is mirrored by its “popularity”? If Meta doesn’t want to spend money on advertising Quest in different regions than USA then the device is less popular there – simple as that.
            And it is not so hot in Australia.. unless you want to sit all day outside of the apartment with AC turned on (com on! we are not living in the stone age!)

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Advertising impacts popularity, but there are many other factors. E.g. there is European mistrust for US companies handling user data, partly from experience, partly from more emphasis on data privacy, and partly from US legislation forcing US companies to hand over non US citizen data, regardless of storage location or local laws.

            So Meta has a much tougher stand just due to customer perception. There are usually home advantages, causing companies to launch locally, then expand to similar markets and finally the world. Larger global companies like Meta could compensate differences by spending more on advertising in foreign markets.

            I’m not trying to contradict you, or claim they couldn’t do more outside the US. But if I was trying to figure out a new product type through try and error, I’d also try to stick to places where this works easier/cheaper/faster. So I cannot blame Meta for doing the same, even if this puts me at a disadvantage. Which might be a good or bad attitude.

          • arczi79

            Leaving behind more demanding markets because company is looking for its way? No… Meta always wanted to be a global brand with “billions” of users. If they do not put more interest in other markets then they can slowly lost in these markets for companies such as Pico.

          • CrusaderCaracal

            Depends where you are mate

  • gothicvillas

    Why they always get the scaling wrong with these vr videos?

    • Nevets

      That’s what I was saying above. I was hoping they’d fixed it. They used to look ridiculous when I saw them on older hardware.

      • MeowMix

        I watch the free NBA games streamed in Horizons last year (both immersive 3D and pancake). The immersive 3D looked fine.

  • nullcodes

    In the Vision Pro maybe this would look cool. But on the Quest 3 with it’s low resolution screen door, I don’t think do.

    • ViRGiN

      Which YouTuber told you that?

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      For 180°/360° stereoscopic video, the streaming bandwidth will be much more restricting than the resolution of the HMD with current encoding methods. The SD821 in the 1440p Oculus Go was limited to 4K video, resulting in rather poor 360° resolution, nowhere near what the display could handle, and one of John Carmack’s feats was to get it to decode 5K, despite Qualcomm declaring that to be impossible.

      Apple has their own Apple TV+ streaming service, so they’ll probably be able to offer high quality 4K 3D movies to the AVP, but 180° still requires much higher resolutions. 8K streaming might start to finally get into display resolutions on Quest 2/3, but I doubt that Apple will offer 16K. So unless they implemented a way to only transfer where the users is actually looking at, AVP will probably not be able to provide a significant jump above Quest with a very high quality stream.

      There is a chance that Apple actually did that, ideas have been discussed for years, as it would significantly reduce bandwidth requirements. And with eye tracking and ETFR they already have a methods to “guess” where users will look next. So they only need to split the image into multiple smaller streams, sending only those currently necessary, and combining them on the HMD.

    • arczi79

      What do you mean by “low resolution screen door”? Sounds like a quite creative mix of different factors characterizing VR. Would be good if you can try VR before making some statements ;) Cheers!

    • CrusaderCaracal

      “low resolution screen door” two different terms you hastily threw together to attempt to highlight how a headset going for more than twice the price is better than a consumer grade vr headset. And yet, the quest 3 still kicks it’s ass

  • on another site they state, “The 52 180-degree immersive games are free, but NBA League Pass subscribers can also watch any games on floating 2D virtual TV screens in mixed reality using Xtadium’s new ‘Multi-Game Mode’. This mode supports up to 9 games simultaneously”

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Nine different camera perspectives of the same game should be more practical/interesting than watching nine different games at the same time, so I hope that is an option too. And as the word “NBA” and “free” rarely appear in the same sentence, this probably means “free to view for Quest users”, but “costly for Xtadium/Yerba Buena VR/Meta”, adding a little bit to the USD 10bn/year spent at MRL.