Netflix can already be a pretty immersive experience, as I’m sure we can all attest after another television show binge-watching marathon. So if you weren’t already worried about permanently melting into your couch, VR Netflix is here to push you over the edge.
Last week, Oculus unveiled a new Netflix app for the Gear VR headset. Before you get too excited, no, this does not yet allow you to travel into the worlds of your favourite movies or TV shows, although I’m sure that isn’t too far away. It does still transport you to another world, however… that being a world where you sit on a couch and watch Netflix. But in such luxury! No longer are you in your own apartment trying to ignore the encroaching mess of day-to-day life and the reality that you should probably clean up or something. Instead, you get to watch Netflix in a spiffy ski cabin type room.
Otherwise, you basically just watch Netflix like you’ve always done. You can look around but you can’t move your body and you control the flat screen television in front of you with your gaze. Details like having the screen reflect on to the surrounding floor and walls make the VR room as real as possible.
While this may be kind of pointless right now, it seems like it’s the first step to being able to watch certain shows in thematically relevant locations, as competitor Hulu described for their own upcoming VR app by saying you could watch Seinfeld in Jerry’s apartment. As it is right now, it’s a cool gimmick and I’m sure it maybe helps you focus more on the program by cutting out distractions to achieve a true home-theatre environment. But considering how much we are all addicted to screens already, the image of sitting in your house with a headset on to look at a television somehow disturbs me.