NBA Virtual Reality Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans in action on 27 OctoberGetty

The NBA 2015-16 season opener between defending champions the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans on 27 October became the first sporting event to be broadcast live in virtual reality (VR). Fans were able to watch the action from courtside seats in the Oracle Arena in California.

To make this happen the NBA partnered with Turner Sports and NextVR, and streamed the event to Samsung Gear VR headsets. The Gear is among the first VR headsets to be publicly available, and is designed to use Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge devices in lieu of a built-in screen.

"You look to the left, and see a basket. You look to the right, and see a basket. You look to the ground, and see the court," said Jeff Marsilio, the NBA's vice president of global media. "It feels like you're at the game."

The Warriors won the debut game of the new season 111-95, taking each quarter on their way to victory.

Last season the NBA led the way on VR in sport, capturing game highlights and distributing other VR experiences to consumers. While a lot of the focus on the upcoming Year of Virtual Reality (spearheaded by devices like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR) has been on video games, it seems the long-term success of the technology will depend on its wider use in other mediums. Sport seems a natural fit, but also the movie and music industries, social media and industrial use.

You can read our run-down of the major VR players in a comparison article here.

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