Meta announced that it will continue its partnership with the NBA, and that it will give basketball fans the chance to watch 52 live games in virtual reality for free during the 2022-23 season.
If you have a Meta Quest Pro headset or an Oculus Quest 2 headset, you’ll be able to dive into XTADIUM (US app only) or Horizon Worlds to watch games as they happen. Horizon Worlds will also provide players with the opportunity to compete in interactive mini-games, and watch match highlights and recaps of matches they have missed.
If you’d like to check out these free games, the January lineup is:
- Milwaukee Bucks vs Detroit Pistons:
- Jan 23, 4pm PST / Jan 24, midnight GMT / Jan 24, 10am AEST
- Denver Nuggets vs New Orleans Pelicans:
- Jan 24th 5pm PST / Jan 25th 1am GMT / Jan 25th 11am AEST
- Denver Nuggets vs. Milwaukee Bucks:
- Jan 25th 5pm PST / Jan 26th 1am GMT / Jan 26th 11am AEST
- Cleveland Cavaliers vs Oklahoma City Thunder:
- Jan 27, 5pm PST / Jan 28, 1am GMT / Jan 28, 11am AEST
- Los Angeles Clippers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers:
- Jan 29 4pm PST / Jan 30 midnight GMT / Jan 30 10am AEST
- Miami Heat vs Cleveland Cavaliers:
- Jan 31, 4pm PST / Feb 1, midnight GMT / Feb 1, 10am AEST
If you can’t catch any of these games, there are games happening through April 9th, so you have plenty of time to catch some games before the season ends; The full schedule can be found in the official Meta Quest blog post (Opens in a new tab).
What’s more, five NBA games (Meta hasn’t announced yet) will be available to watch in immersive 180-degree VR with famous announcers giving you their commentary on the action. This more immersive view of the stadium will have you watching the game unfold making it feel like you’re in the action itself rather than watching it on TV.
And if that wasn’t enough ball for you, the Meta will host some WNBA, NBA G League, and NBA 2K League games, too.
But, before you get too excited, there are a few limitations you should watch out for. For a start, you’ll need to be in a region that has access to Horizon Worlds – the Metaverse platform that’s currently only available to users in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Iceland, France, and Spain.
However, even if you are in one of these regions, your access is not guaranteed. The Meta warns that some content will not be available in every region (kind of like how US and UK Netflix have different catalogs based on how rights are distributed) and that some viewers who live near the stadiums where games are taking place may be locked out from watching matches. . The Meta, unfortunately, is a bit vague about who can or can’t watch a match, so you might want to try watching a match or two yourself to see if you’re locked out.
However, it is definitely worth a try. VR concerts and esports are no longer a substitute for attending an actual live event — you don’t get the real feel of the atmosphere for one — but they’re still totally amazing, especially if they have the freedom to attend such NBA games.
If you’re looking for other things to do with your VR headset, check out our picks for the best Oculus Quest 2 games you can download and play today.