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Sony Releases ‘Passengers: Awakening’ VR Experience

Awaken on the Starship Avalon in this Oculus Rift and HTC Vive movie experience.

Hurdling past Mars towards the Homestead Colony, you awaken on the Starship Avalon to find yourself face to face with a slew of critical malfunctions. Fellow passenger Jim Preston needs your help to fix them. With a multi-tool in hand, you must solve a series of puzzles while teleporting yourself around the many luxury rooms of the spaceship, finally ending up on a spacewalk outside the ship’s hull.

This is the latest VR experience for the movie Passengers starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. Timed with the blu-ray release of the film, Passengers: Awakening is a roughly 20-minute VR experience for Rift and Vive that has you exploring the Starship Avalon and progressing through the many ship environments all based on the production design of the film.

Developed in collaboration with Sony Pictures VR, MPC, and Q Department, Passengers: Awakening is less of a game and more a movie set exploration experience. With simple puzzles that require a Rift Touch or Vive controller as your virtual tool, you can quickly breeze through the experience. Although severely lacking any presence of a virtual Jennifer Lawrence, fans of the movie should get a kick out of the tour, especially if it’s your first time in VR.

If you haven’t seen Passengers yet, the VR experience won’t spoil anything. It takes place after the movie, but before they land on the new Homestead Colony, which explains the timing of the VR release for this week’s home entertainment launch.

Curious enough, Passengers: Awakening is releasing on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive first, before ever making its way to Sony’s PlayStation VR. But when speaking with Jake Zim, Senior Vice President VR at Sony Pictures, at a press event for the launch of the VR experience, PlayStation VR owner’s should be able to join in on the space action a few weeks from now.

Sony Pictures has not been shy creating VR games for movie releases or adapting the experiences to different platforms. Previous VR movie experiences from Sony like The Walk debuted on an early version of the PlayStation VR, Ghostbusters was built in collaboration with The Void, and Goosebumps made use of the Gear VR and DBox seats.

According to Zim, the VR creative studio within Sony Pictures’ larger studio includes five individuals working together with other departments to make these VR productions come to life.

The Passengers: Awakening VR experience is available on Oculus and Vive for the price of $9.99. A bit steep for many, but considering other VR movie adaptations like Fox’s Martian VR Experience are priced similarly, this may be a new bar the studios are trying to price set for their content.

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