Disney has released a free app for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift that aims to bring iconic pop-culture locations from its numerous mega-franchises into the world of VR (virtual reality). The app, entitled Disney Movies VR, features characters and places from The Jungle Book, Captain America and also Star Wars.
Part of the enduring appeal of virtual reality is the promise of being transported into fantastical worlds, if only for a brief few moments. As a storied purveyor of such magical experiences, Disney's free app seems like a logical step for the 'house of mouse'.
The app can be downloaded from the Steam store and is listed as offering support for the motion-tracking capabilities of the SteamVR-powered HTC Vive.
The trailer shows "fully immersive" scenes from the recent live-action version of The Jungle Book and ends with a snippet of the home of Marvel's cinematic superheroes, the Avengers. As for Star Wars, we catch a glimpse of an AT-AT and come face to face with The Force Awakens' violently adorable spherical droid BB-8 on board the Millenium Falcon. It also showcases the arid plains of Jakku in a speeder-bike section.
Should be great, right? Perhaps not, as the app currently has a 'mixed' overall user review score on its Steam page. Most referred to the content as glorified 360-degree videos with low-quality visuals. User Mr Zkaar wrote: "The videos are low quality and judder a little even on a top spec PC. Felt motion sick after viewing a few videos."
Star Wars Universe in VR
This isn't the first time we've seen the promise of adventures in the Star Wars-verse crop up for the latest wave of virtual-reality headsets. Sony shocked a lot of fans by revealing that EA and DICE's hugely successful first-person shooter Star Wars: Battlefront was on its way to PlayStation VR. We expect to hear more about that one at Sony's E3 2016 conference.
LucasArts and the Industrial Light and Magic Lab also teased lightsaber battles on HTC Vive in a short trailer for Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine, which was labelled 'an experiment'.