The Fox Innovation Lab—20th Century Fox’s research and development center for tech and entertainment—has launched The Martian VR Experience for the PlayStation VR (PS VR) and HTC Vive, making the interactive virtual reality experience available to the public for the first time.
First seen at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), The Martian VR Experience has since been accepted into the New Frontier Program at Sundance and won the Cannes Silver Lion in Digital Craft and the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) Next VR Award. The full VR experience will be available for $20.
“I’ve always tried to approach filmmaking from the standpoint of creating an immersive experience. Now with the tools that are available to us in virtual reality, we can raise the bar even higher,” said filmmaker Ridley Scott, executive producer of The Martian VR Experience and co-founder of RSA Films, which produced the VR experience with Fox and The Virtual Reality Co. “The audience can experience storytelling in ways we previously could only imagine. Mars has never been closer to being within our grasp and I’m so thrilled that we can invite people into The Martian VR Experience.”
The Martian VR Experience marks Fox’s first commercial VR endeavor and puts users into the shoes of astronaut Mark Watney, flying on to the surface of Mars, steering in zero gravity, driving a rover, and experiencing other moments from the film.
“Virtual reality is transforming what we think of as movie entertainment - people can be the viewer behind the screen, and now they can participate in the story,” said Robert Stromberg, director of The Martian VR Experience and co-founder and chief creative officer of The Virtual Reality Co. “With The Martian VR Experience, we were able to take Ridley’s cinematic vision and create an immersive VR experience that gives people the ability to be Mark Watney, to face his struggles, experience his successes, as if they were part of the film.”
Mike Dunn, president of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and the Fox Innovation Lab, added: “The Fox Innovation Lab is at the forefront of exploring virtual reality as a new storytelling medium. The Martian VR Experience is a testament to the opportunity for filmmakers to connect with audiences in new and deeper ways.”