×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Coco VR,’ Now Out on Oculus Rift, Breaks New Ground for Pixar and Oculus Alike

Pixar released its first-ever virtual reality experience with ‘Coco VR’ Wednesday, giving users of Facebook’s Oculus Rift an early behind-the-scenes look at its next big animated movie. With its use of social elements, the experience is also a first for Oculus.

Coco VR” takes participants into the land of the dead, where they can explore the world of “Coco” with a skeleton avatar — or skeletar, as Pixar producer Marc Sondheimer jokingly called it during a recent interview with Variety. “Our primary goal was to let people go on an adventure,” he said.

In this case, the adventure includes customizing your own “skeletar” with a variety of outfits and hats, taking selfies, throwing paper planes over a vast outdoor plaza, visiting a gallery to explore both the history of Mexican art and concept art for the film, listening to music on a virtual record player and a number of other activities. What’s more, all of this can be done together with up to three friends, who can join “Coco VR” as a social experience to explore the world of the film together.

Oculus started to talk to the Pixar team 9 months ago, and both sides were immediately excited about cooperating on an experience for “Coco.” That’s in part because magical places like the land of the dead are such a great fit for VR. But the project also seemed a great way to pioneer social VR in the context of a major movie franchise.

“We thought of it like a theme park for your headset,” said Sondheimer. A theme park that you would visit together with your friends, one might add. “We are really proud of the social aspect,” said Oculus head of experiences Colum Slevin.

‘Coco VR” is an Oculus exclusive, and will come to Samsung’s Gear VR headset next week, just in time for the movie premiere. Producing it was a lot of fun, said Sondheimer, but he stopped short of committing to any additional VR projects from the studio. “There is a good business case to be made for it,” he admitted, even if the goal was just to promote a movie franchise.

For Oculus, “Coco VR” could also be a key title to promote the idea of social VR beyond multi-player gaming. Facebook introduced its own social VR app Spaces earlier this year, but hasn’t really given people a good reason yet as for why they should meet each other in VR — and Mark Zuckerberg high-fiving another avatar in front of a 360-degree video of hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico didn’t exactly help this cause either.

“Coco VR” on the other hand lets people explore a fantasy world together, and offers a lot of fun along the way. That alone may not change the game for social VR over-night, but it could be a big step in the right direction.

Said Slevin: “Tipping points just accumulate over time.” And despite neither being a narrative VR piece with a deeply engaging story nor a groundbreakin game that keeps you busy for hours,  “Coco VR” may just be one of those tipping points.

More Digital

  • Nick Eh 30, StoneMountain64

    CAA Signs Gaming Influencers Nick Eh 30, StoneMountain64

    CAA has signed two popular live-streaming battle royale gamers — Nicholas Amyoony, better known as Nick Eh 30, and David Steinberg, aka StoneMountain64 — for representation. CAA said it will work to create opportunities for Nick Eh 30 (above left) and StoneMountain64 (above right) in all areas, including TV, motion pictures, touring, digital distribution and [...]

  • Amazon Adds NBA League Pass to

    Amazon Adds NBA League Pass Live-Streaming Games to Prime Video Channels

    Amazon is bringing pro hoops action to Prime Video Channels: The ecommerce giant now offers NBA League Pass as part of its lineup of 150-plus subscription options for Prime members in the U.S. It’s the first U.S. live-sports subscription service on Prime Video Channels. Prime members can subscribe to NBA League Pass via Prime Video [...]

  • Fifty Shades of Grey

    International Piracy Ring Stole Over 25,000 Movie and TV Digital Files, U.S. Feds Say

    A five-member international hacking crime ring stole more than 25,000 files for Hollywood movies and TV shows and illegally offered hundreds of them for sale online, according to U.S. law enforcement officials. A federal grand jury in L.A. on Wednesday (Dec. 12) indicted five men, identified as residing in the U.K., India, Dubai and Malaysia, [...]

  • Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president

    Apple to Update iPhones in China to Avoid Sales Ban

    Apple is pushing out a software update to iPhones in China to address a recent court order obtained by Qualcomm that banned the sale of certain iPhone models in the country. The update will allow the company to continue selling its phones in China, company representatives told Reuters Friday morning. The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court [...]

  • Kevin Reilly Variety Cover

    Kevin Reilly Named Content Chief for WarnerMedia Streaming Service

    Kevin Reilly — a veteran television exec who has led programming at NBC, FX, Fox, and most recently Turner Broadcasting — has been tapped to head content strategy for the still-nascent streaming service that WarnerMedia plans to launch next year. Reilly, who has led programming at Turner brands TNT and TBS since 2015, will serve [...]

  • Apple Culver City

    Apple Expects to Have Over 1,000 Employees in Culver City by 2022

    Apple announced plans to boost its L.A. presence, saying it expects to have more than 1,000 employees in Culver City, Calif., over the next three years, including its growing entertainment team. The move is part of the tech giant’s broader initiative to create 20,000 jobs in the U.S. by 2023 and includes a new $1 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content