MLB has launched a virtual reality (VR) version of its MLB.com At Bat app for baseball fans, which allows its subscribers to stream live games through Daydream. It allows subscribers to watch any archived game from 2015 onwards or real-time video in VR, providing a completely immersive experience which is sure to be a hit with baseball fans everywhere. In a similar manner to its normal app, users of the VR app can select any video feed they like which will be shown on the main screen. At the sides, they will see play-by-play information and box scores provided as they watch. Fans will also be able to see real-time conference standings and scores from other fixtures which are happening simultaneously. Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball Commissioner said “It’s another improvement, an advancement, in what we regard to be the best app in sports.”
While using the app, viewers have the ability to rewind to any pitch and view it again, and and they can even do the same for previous games. The most impressive feature of the new app is the 3D strike zone which fans will find very different from the 2D version, which simply shows viewers where balls are pitched. In 3D, the experience is enhanced with lots of great features. As part of the VR experience, viewers are shown helpful extras such as color-coded hot zones and a visible heat trail of the ball’s path. Users can also view and “touch” pitches which are branded with their team’s logo, and view information presented to them about relevant features of the pitch, such as velocity and pitch type.
The app requires Daydream’s physical remote to work which is used for a number of functions in the app. These include toggling the full-screen mode, changing which view is displayed, and checking various statistics. Users must have a Daydream ready device, such as a Google Pixel or Motorola Moto Z to be able to use the app, along with a Daydream View headset and an active MLB.com account. There is also a stand-alone Daydream headset due to be released soon, which is expected to work with the new app. The MLB.com At Bat VR app can be downloaded from the Google Play store from June 1 onwards, or can be manually downloaded.