Google Releases Star Wars Themed Virtual Reality Experience

Written by: Antony Hampel

There are few pairs of words which elicit the same level of rabid excitement as ‘Star Wars.’ The franchise has some of the most loyal and enthusiastic fans in the world and they are currently all gearing up for the cinematic release of new instalment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in just over a week.

Now, you would hard pressed to find anybody who has not heard about the movie, whether they call themselves a fan or not. The PR machine has been in overdrive ever since January 2013, when the first announcements about the film broke. There have been teaser trailers, must have toys and gadgets, interviews with stars, early screenings, casting revelations, video games ‘tie ins’, and more.

It is fair to say that anticipation levels have reached fever pitch. And now, just days before the movie hits cinema screens, Google has released a Star Wars themed virtual reality ‘experience’ for its Cardboard platform. The search giant has worked closely alongside Disney to create two exciting VR films, designed to be used with its series of make at home headsets.

According to a spokesperson, the VR experiences link directly to the plot of the upcoming movie and offer an immersive and compelling narrative, brought to life with the most cutting edge virtual reality technologies. The films are available via the Star Wars app for both Android and iOS right now, so if you want to get in on the action, grab yourself a DIY headset.

With Oculus Rift and Playstation VR continuing to push the envelope on what virtual reality systems can achieve, it is no surprise that other big names are following suit. There are early whispers about a Samsung VR headset on the grapevine and, whilst Oculus Rift has been a long time in development, the plan is to release it to the public next year.

If it delivers, it could spell the dawn of a new era for video games and other forms of media. Imagine if, instead of simply watching a movie, you could take part in it?Ultimately, this is what tech leaders like Google and Samsung are aiming for and whilst it is still a long way off, products like the Google Cardboard VR Experience are the beginning.

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens VR release will tie in with the storyline of the upcoming movie and a range of additional Google games and apps. These apps invite players to carve out their own destiny, by choosing a life on the light or dark side of the force. So, come on – which side will you choose?

by: Antony Hampel