Whether you're a more traditional sports fan or not, there's no denying that the World Cup is one of if not the biggest sporting event globally. While there are more than a few matches to watch throughout the course of the event, BBC in general will be broadcasting 33 different matches, and all of them will be available to watch in virtual reality as well as 4K. To watch in virtual reality there are a couple of pre-requisites, not the least of which is having the right equipment to make it all come together. Luckily for the VR enthusiast who also happens to be interested in watching as many World Cup matches as they can, BBC is making it possible to watch all 33 matches that it will be broadcasting via multiple VR platforms so it should be fairly easy to ensure you don't miss a game.
For starters, you'll need the correct application installed on the device you'll be using. This application will be the BBC Sport VR – FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, and although it isn't quite available to download just yet BBC plans to launch it a little bit closer to the start of the World Cup matches that it will be broadcasting. As for the compatible platforms, you'll be able to download the app on Android for use with Daydream and Cardboard, iOS, Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR, and Sony's PlayStation VR. That gives users a health selection of headsets to choose from, and chances are many people that are interested in watching World Cup 2018 matches in VR already have one of these headsets in their possession.
In regards to which matches you'll be able to stream, once the app BBC will be launching is made available it'll have every match listed which you'll be able to watch in VR. As for the schedule itself of every game happening during the World Cup, you'll be able to find the entire set of matches over at the FIFA website, complete with times and dates. Worth noting, though, is that the times listed on the FIFA website are for local time of where the matches are being held, which is Russia, though not all matches will be happening in the same arenas as they will be spread out over various locations including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Saransk and more.
Though this is BBC's first foray into broadcasting a live sporting event in VR, as well as in 4K, it won't be the network's first time diving into the VR market. It already has a couple of virtual reality apps available on the Play Store that can be enjoyed on the Daydream platform if you have either of the Daydream View headsets or the recently launched Lenovo Mirage Solo. One of those apps, called BBC Taster VR, launched almost a year ago in July of 2017. Comparing the two endeavors, BBC Sport VR – FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 is a more ambitious undertaking than the BBC Taster VR app, and understandably so – millions of people watch the World Cup when it comes around. The BBC Taster VR has somewhere over 1,000 installs, and although this isn't actually published by BBC, even the ones published by BBC have nowhere near the amount of installs that would be needed to rival the amount of people watching World Cup matches. Suffice it to say, this VR app focused on showing the World Cup 2018 matches has the potential to be a big hit, and if you plan to try the app out, you'll have more than a few ways to do so.