Virtual reality promises many things, but can it replace the cinematic experience users get with a high-end home cinema? Well, the VR social reality platform, Convrge, sure hopes so – with the launch of its latest experience – Convrge Cinemas.

Convrge Cinemas is a platform where users don their virtual reality goggles and transport themselves to a digital home cinema. Users can then watch YouTube and Twitch videos with their friends, even if those friends happen to live thousands of miles of way.

Convrge has already had much success with getting people together online. It launched as a digital discothek where people could come together and enjoy techno music with other avatars. It has since branched out to offer everything from a virtual chat room to weekly ‘campfire meetings’.

Speaking to roadtovr, Convrge CEO Shawn Whiting justified the launch of Cinemas. The self-confessed VR geek said that Cinemas was “inspired by the strong social presence in Toybox and Oculus Social.”

Convrge Cinemas is not the first time virtual reality technology has encroached on the home cinema market. Oculus, the Facebook-owned company at the forefront of VR’s growing popularity, released its own cinema App earlier this year. It has also said that it plans to add multiplayer gaming to the experience in the future.

While Convrge Cinemas is very similar to Oculus’ App, the company is hoping to add more features as time goes on. One such feature is the ability to play poker with friends while YouTube or Twitch videos are playing in the background.

Poker was supposed to be the main element of the App, but Convrge released just the cinema experience after Oculus’ Social Alpha received good feedback from the community after its launch.

Shawn revealed that poker functionality will launch in the next few weeks. Development will continue on other features however, which include ‘virtual drugs’. The CEO did not elaborate on what that meant.

For now it seems that custom installers are safe from the growing popularity of VR; after all, it’s unlikely that Convrge Cinemas can give the same experience as a high-end projector, Dolby Atmos sound and other high-end AV kit currently available on the market. 

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