Bigscreen to Host ‘Insert Coin’ Documentary & Creator Q&A for Free Next Week

Bigscreen Insert Coin Cinema

Those of you who love retro gaming may want to tune into Bigscreen next week as the virtual reality (VR) app is going to be hosting a free screening of documentary Insert Coin. Additionally, before the screening it’ll be hosting a Q&A with its creators.

Bigscreen

Insert Coin is a Midway Games documentary, looking at how the studio became a powerhouse for arcade games, creating iconic franchises like Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam. The film charts the highs and lows of the company, with Eugene Jarvis, the “Godfather of Video Games,” and others contributing.

The Bigscreen Event will start on Friday 25th February at 7 pm PT (Sat 26th 3 am GMT) with a 30 minute Q&A with director Josh Tsui (director) and Ready Player One author Ernest Cline who is one of the contributors. Once that’s concluded, the Insert Coin documentary will follow straight away, so if you’re on Oculus Quest make sure its charged as the entire event will run for a couple of hours. It’ll be available in 12 countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

To attend all you need to do is grab a free event ticket directly though the Bigscreen app by tapping on the Insert Coin movie poster under the “Live Movie Events” category. After the event next week, the Q&A and documentary will be freely available on-demand in Bigscreen Movies’ rental catalogue for one week. Miss that promotion and you’ll then have to pay, Insert Coin will be $4.99 USD.

Bigscreen Insert Coin

Don’t forget that Bigscreen is celebrating Black History Month during February, where you can enjoy a selection of films in Bigscreen’s ‘Black Cinema’ category for free (ad-supported).

There’s plenty of content on Bigscreen now, whether that’s the Bigscreen Movies rental catalogue or the more than 172 free TV channels available (region dependent). Plus there are more updates coming including a Friends System and new servers that’ll improve the video/audio streaming quality during the course of 2021.

The Bigscreen app is free to download, supporting headsets including HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go and Oculus Quest. For all the latest updates, keep reading VRFocus.

Bigscreen’s Latest Free Movies Celebrate Black History Month

Bigscreen SELMA

Last month Bigscreen rolled out ad-supported, free-to-watch movies via PlutoTV, supporting the platform’s growing demand for new, accessible content. With Black History Month beginning today in the US, Bigscreen is rolling out a new category to celebrate black cinema.

Bigscreen SELMA

Just like it did during last summer, Bigscreen is hosting a live screening of Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed film, Selma to mark the launch today. Kicking off at 7 pm PT/10 pm ET (3 am GMT 2nd Feb), Selma tells the story of how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a three-month march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. The film then can be rented on-demand for $3.99 in the US or $4.99 in Canada.

As for the rest, here are all the free new movies in Bigscreen’s ‘Black Cinema’ category:

  • St. Louis Superman
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Night Catches Us
  • Southside With You
  • Silverrain
  • The Pruitt-Igoe Myth
  • Broken Ceiling
  • The Long Walk Home
  • Mandela
  • Sincerely, Brenda
  • For Ahkeem
  • Muhammad Ali Life of a Legend
  • Cover
  • Jackie Brown
Bigscreen - Black History Month

Additionally, Bigscreen’s free to watch category has also been updated with new blockbusters like Memento and The King’s Speech. Like all of the movies available through the platform, these latest editions won’t be available in every territory.

Bigscreen continues to be free to download, supporting headsets including HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go and Oculus Quest. For all the latest updates, keep reading VRFocus.

Watch Awesome Films for Free as Bigscreen Introduces Ads

Bigscreen

Everyone likes free content but for companies to make money they need revenue from somewhere, which usually tends to revolve around advertising. Today, Bigscreen is rolling out a new update so that users have the option to watch ad-supported, free-to-watch movies.

Bigscreen

Bigscreen has been providing paid movie rentals for a little over a year now, partnering with studios like Paramount Pictures and Funimation. If you don’t mind the odd ad then you can now enjoy Arrival, Seabiscuit, Clueless, Nacho Libre, Adventureland, Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity 4, It Follows, and more for free.

All the free movies are hosted on Pluto.TV featuring ads from PlutoTV. The service is only available in the US at the moment, with Bigscreen confirming more films will be added each month. The other difference between these free movies and the rental ones is that Bigscreen’s paid service includes 3D movies.

The app has been ramping up its content output of late by expanding its Bigscreen TV feature last week with more than 172 free TV channels available. In a statement the company also mentioned: “We plan to integrate more streaming services in the future, we’re actively working on built-in YouTube support next.”

Bigscreen

Currently, features like the TV channels are hosted in public rooms but Bigscreen is developing a Friends System so that users can host their own, private rooms. Other tech in the pipeline will enable large groups of people to stream ultra-low latency video in VR. PlayStation VR support is still ongoing.

You can download Bigscreen free of charge for Oculus Quest and Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. For further updates, keep reading VRFocus.

‘Bigscreen’ Launches Ad-supported Movies for Free On-demand Viewing

Bigscreen today announced is bringing ad-supported movies to the free social viewing platform, which will allow users to watch select films for free.

Bigscreen first brought paid on-demand movie rentals to its virtual cinemas early last year, which was the result of multiple partnerships with movie studios such as Paramount Pictures.

Now Bigscreen is bringing free movies hosted by PlutoTV, which much like their streaming TV content, will have intermittent ads sandwiched in between. A big difference between steaming TV and the new ad-supported film service is that films can be watched on-demand, and in any Bigscreen environment.

Image courtesy Bigscreen

Film availability depends on your physical location, however Bigscreen says content coming to US-based users includes Arrival, Seabiscuit, Clueless, Nacho Libre, Adventureland, Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity 4, It Follows, “and more.” The studio says it’s adding new films each month.

“Bigscreen has added many integrations with streaming services over the past year, such as Twitch, PlutoTV, and Adult Swim,” the studio says. “We plan to integrate more streaming services in the future, [and] we’re actively working on built-in YouTube support next. As previously announced, we are also developing a Friends System and a new technology to enable large groups of people to stream ultra-low latency video in VR.”

The new ad-supported film is coming to all supported platforms today, which includes SteamVROculus RiftOculus Quest, and Oculus Go.

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‘Bigscreen’ Brings ‘Rick & Morty’, ‘The Eric Andre Show’ & More to Free TV Selection

Bigscreen, the social viewing platform for VR headsets, just launched a number of new free TV channels including Rick and Morty, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Samurai Jack, Robot Chicken, The Venture Bros, and The Eric Andre Show.

Bigscreen first added its TV livestream back in July 2019, which at the time brought over 50 channels to the free app. With its recent additions, users can now select from 172 channels—all of which are available for free in public rooms. Some channels are region-specific, but a majority can be viewed from anywhere.

“Today’s new TV channels all have an age restriction on it, requiring users to consent that they are 18 or older before entering,” the studio says in an update. “Bigscreen’s built-in Parental Controls also allow parents to prevent their children from entering any of these 18+ rooms, public rooms, or social situations.”

Besides being able to chat with others face-to-face, Bigscreen also lets users rent 3D movies, watch your own local media through its internal video player, and mirror your desktop into a room—letting you watch and share practically anything you want in VR.

The studio says there’s plenty of new features coming down the pipeline for 2021 too. A Friends System is still in the works along with built-in YouTube support, and the ability to make private TV-viewing rooms. The studio is also set to roll out new servers which it says will “dramatically improve the video/audio streaming quality.”

Something users have been asking for a while now is a Remote Desktop feature, which will allow you to stream your Windows desktop to Quest. Thankfully, that’s also slated to arrive sometime in 2021.

The update is now live across all supported platforms which includes SteamVR, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, and Oculus Go.

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Bigscreen Introduces Free Rick and Morty, Samurai Jack & Robot Chicken TV Channels

Bigscreen

Bigscreen launched its TV feature back in 2019, continually adding more features and content since then. Today, Bigscreen TV is expanding that roster of channels to cater to all viewers, especially if you enjoy animation.

Bigscreen

14 new channels have been introduced such as Rick and Morty, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Samurai Jack, Robot Chicken, The Venture Bros, and The Eric Andre Show. All in all, that means Bigscreen now has more than 172 free TV channels available.

If you’ve not tried the service yet Bigscreen doesn’t host these channels, instead, they’re free internet live streams from websites such as Twitch and YouTube. As such, the content is usually ad-supported and can be region-restricted, so it’s possible you won’t be able to access all the channels depending on where you live. These new channels require consent that users are 18 or older before entering with Parental Controls available so parents can stop their kids from accessing these areas.

All of Bigscreen TV’s channels are designed to be social experiences, so you can watch some of your favourite shows with other fans. Currently in development is the ability to host TV channels in private rooms. Bigscreen hasn’t said when this might become available.

Bigscreen TV Robot Chicken

There are more updates planned for Bigscreen during the course of 2021 including a Friends System, new servers that improve the video/audio streaming quality, and a new Remote Desktop feature with ultra-low latency desktop streaming to the Oculus Quest. When it comes to the long-awaited PlayStation VR port, that is still on the roadmap, but Bigscreen hasn’t settled on a date yet.

Alongside the TV channels, Bigscreen users can also rent 3D movies, watch their own video files using the Videoplayer, or use the app for its original purpose and stream a Windows desktop screen into a virtual room.

Bigscreen is free to download for HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, and Oculus Quest. For further updates, keep reading  VRFocus.

20 Free Games & Apps Quest 2 Owners Should Download First

Not ready to plonk down your first $100 on Quest 2 games? Thankfully there’s a good amount of free games, experiences, social VR platforms, and apps to keep you playing before you’re paying.

Note: We didn’t include demos for paid games in the list, but you should definitely also check out these too for a quick taste of the full thing, such as Synth RidersJourney of the Gods, Creed: Rise to Glory, Beat Saber, Superhot VR, and Space Pirate Trainer.

We have however included App Lab games. If you want to see more, SideQuest’s search function is a great resource for finding free stuff and demos. Below you’ll find some of the top App Lab games in addition to those hosted on the official store.

Free Games

Gun Raiders

There aren’t a ton of free-to-play shooters out there that promise multiplayer action, however Gun Raiders fits the bill with its multiple game modes that let you jetpack through the air, climbing from wall to wall, and shoot down the competition. There’s the same sort of microtransactions you see in bigger games, but it they’re all avatar skin stuff, so no pay-to-win here.

  • Developer: Gun Raiders Entertainment Inc.
  • Store link

Pavlov Shack

Ever wanted to play Counter-Strike on Quest? Pavlov Shackoffers up a pretty comparable experience, as you play in either deathmatch or co-op mode. It’s got all of the realistic gunplay and much of the fun of the paid PC VR title, but it’s still going strong with a free open beta on Quest.

Echo VR

Zero-g sports aren’t possible unless you’re stationed on the ISS, and even then you probably shouldn’t muck about. In this fast-paced game of ultimate frisbee-meets-hockey-meets-whatever you’ll launch at speed to the goal, evade the opposing team and chuck your Tron-style frisbee-thing for the win. Remember: you can smash your opponent in the face, but please follow the same suggestions mentioned in Gorilla Tag above.

Gorilla Tag

This humble game of tag has taken both SideQuest and App Lab by storm with its infectious gameplay. You’ll be lumbering around a tree-lined arena using its unique grab-the-world locomotion style that lets you amble around like a great ape. Chase the other apes and infect them, or climb for your life as the infected chase you. Pure and simple. Make sure you’re far from TVs, furniture, babies, and pets because you will punch something in the mad dash for sweet, low-poly freedom.

Rec Room

Without a doubt one of the most fun, and most expansive VR titles out there… and it’s free. Sure, you can pay real cash for in-game tokens to buy spiffy clothes for your avatar, but that’s really up to you. Gads of mini-games await you in both first-party creations such as the ever so popular co-op Quests—that could be games in their own right—to user-created stuff that will keep your pocket book gathering dust. It’s social VR, so meet people and have a ball for zero dollarydoos. Fair warning: there’s a ton of kids.

VRChat

If you’ve been anywhere near the Internet in the last few years, it’s likely you’ve already heard about VRChat, the user-generated social VR space filled with… well… everything you can imagine, re-pro games included like Among Us, Mario Kart, and even a version of Beat Saber. Fashion your own avatar or download the millions of user-generated avatars out there so you can embody SpongeBob, Kirito from Sword Art Online, or any one of the million anime girl avatars that you’re bound to see there.

Tea for God

Tea for God has been around for a while now in a pretty basic form, however through successive updates it’s really come into its own. It adapts to the size of your actual room, letting you use natural room-scale locomotion to explore the vast, procedurally-generated world. There’s a shooter element as well, available in arcade and a roguelite modes, although you can just as easily turn that off if you’re looking for a unique bit of exploration.

Ancient Dungeon Beta

This plucky roguelite dungeon crawler is still in beta (still!), but there’s a reason it’s become an App Lab favorite. Explore a vast dungeon to explore, housing plenty of baddies just asking for the steel of your sword, knives, and arrows. You’ll climb over deep pits, dodge lethal traps, and search for hidden treasures. Smash all the pots and crates you can before it officially launches on Quest sometime in the near future.

Elixir

Would-be wizards, this is your time to shine. Explore a magical laboratory and take on the job of apprentice wizard. The lab is full of gadgets and magical stuff to mess around with; as one of the games that natively supports Quest’s hand tracking, you can put your controllers down and get experimenting with this little slice of the dark arts.

The Under Presents

Ok, so it’s not a game in the traditional sense, but The Under Presents is a true tour de force when it comes to immersion, exploration, and downright weirdness that you can only experience in VR. This mind-bending adventure is an optional social experience that’s almost too big to describe, but suffice it to say you can easily get lost uncovering the game’s mysteries and puzzle-like room configurations. It also includes over 30 minutes of single player mysteries to discover for free.

Free Interactive Experiences

Anne Frank House VR

This interactive experience takes you into the secret annex where Anne Frank lived for two years in hiding from the Nazi regime. The experience lets you explore the entire annex where eight people hid, and experience what it must have been like for Frank up until the group was discovered and shipped off to concentration camps in August 1944.

Mission: ISS

Get your space boots and Tang ready, because you’re about to take a trip into orbit to learn about life board the International Space Station. You’ll float around in the station’s microgravity environment and experience how to dock a space capsule, take a spacewalk, and let real NASA astronauts guide you on the ISS through informative videos and images. Look out over the pale blue dot and marvel at humankind’s most awesome achievements.

Home After War

Home After War is  a room-scale, interactive experience that takes you to Fallujah, a city that was, until recently, under Islamic State (IS) control. Even though the conflict has ended, there’s a looming fear of returning refugees: booby trapped homes and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the neighborhoods. Awe-inspiring. Human. Disturbing.

Goliath: Playing with Reality

Narrated by Tilda Swinton, Goliath guides you through the unsettling world of Goliath, a man who spent years isolated in psychiatric institutions but finds connection in multiplayer games. Expect to have your heartstrings pulled by expressive dialogue and immersive visuals as you explore the mind and experiences of Goliath. You’ll need to use your microphone.

Continue on Page 2: Free Apps & Films »

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Bigscreen’s Next Update Adds a Built-in Videoplayer

Bigscreen

Over the years Bigscreen has become one of the go-to virtual reality (VR) apps if you want to watch 2D or 3D film content. Today, the app will release a new update adding a free feature, a built-in videoplayer.

Bigscreen

Now, from the very outset, you’ve been able to watch videos on Bigscreen, originally by desktop screen sharing web browsers, YouTube, or Windows Media Player for example. Most recently that was expanded via Bigscreen movie offerings, with rentals or live film events.

The new videoplayer adds a third option for users. The community has been asking for this as it provides a range of benefits thanks to native integration. Because the videoplayer allows you to watch content directly off a device it’s great for mobile VR users needing a quick way of viewing content.

The videoplayer has a UI designed for easy VR navigation and features social elements like being able to sync a video with everyone in a room so long as they all have the video file on their device – Bigscreen doesn’t include any filesharing features. This works cross-platform across all supported headsets.

Bigscreen

The videoplayer supports multiple file formats and codecs as well as 3D movies, works offline – great when taking the Oculus Quest out and about – and can be used alongside Bigscreen’s other features like desktop screen sharing and multi-monitor capabilities.

The Bigscreen VR is free to download, supporting a wide range of devices like HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go and Oculus Quest. As Bigscreen continues to enhance its feature set VRFocus will keep you updated on all the latest announcements.

Bigscreen to Host Live Free Screening of Academy Awards Nominated ‘Selma’

Bigscreen - SELMA

Bigscreen’s partnership with Paramount Pictures has seen plenty of blockbuster films arrive for the virtual reality (VR) platform. With everything going on in the world currently, the pair will provide a special screening of Selma over the weekend, live for US audiences.

Bigscreen SELMA

Nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 2014, Selma is the story of how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a three month march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965, fighting for equal voting rights for all Black Americans.

Directed by Ava DuVernay, Selma will be screened live for free this Saturday 13th June 4PM PST (7PM EST) solely for US viewers. If you can’t attend the screening, Selma will also be available to watch on-demand until 30th June for free.

“We hope this small gesture will encourage people throughout the country to examine our nation’s history and reflect on the ways that racial injustice has infected our society. The key message of Selma is the importance of equality, dignity and justice for all people,” said a Paramount Pictures representative in a statement.

Bigscreen SELMA

Regular Bigscreen users will know the app has been making a concentrated effort to improve the amount of content available. Its newest movie studio partnership was with Funimation back in April. This saw the studio’s slate of anime’s films added to the VR platform, from classics like Akira to Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia: Two Heroes.

The Bigscreen Beta app is free to download, supporting a wide range of devices like HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go and Oculus Quest. As Bigscreen continues to expand its content lineup VRFocus will keep you updated on all the latest announcements.

How to Enjoy Star Wars day in VR

Vader Immortal

Love it or loathe it there’s no getting away from the sci-fi juggernaut that is Star Wars. Especially since the franchise highjacked May 4th thanks to its similarity with a famous phrase from the films. There are plenty of celebrations going on such as Steam’s limited-time deals but what about VR? Here VRFocus has complied how you can celebrate Star Wars Day using the latest immersive tech.

Star Wars - Porg

Gaming

  • Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series

If you own an Oculus Quest or Oculus Rift/Rift S then your first port of call should be Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series. Exclusive to the Oculus platform, the series isn’t a fully blown videogame, rather mixing interactive elements with cinematic scenes.

Nevertheless, the series is still treated as canon for those diehard Star Wars fans, with its storyline set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. You get to wield the force, test your lightsaber skills out in a dojo and fight Darth Vader, what more could you want?

The series is set across three instalments each retailing for £7.99 GBP. Check out VRFocus’ review of Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series to see what we thought.

Just announced today, Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series will be coming to PlayStation VR summer 2020.

  • Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay

Released back in 2017 and created by ILMxLAB, Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay tasks you as an astromech technician for the rebels with repairing BB-8 and his droid friends.

With an official story linked to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the videogame is all about getting these droids ready back into the fight against the First Order.

Completely free, Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay is available on Steam for Valve Index and HTC Vive, or if you have one laying around Samsung Gear VR.

  • Trials on Tatooine

Another freebie for HTC Vive and Valve Index owners, Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine is one of the earliest (if not the earliest) official titles for VR headsets.

Set on the desert world of Tatooine, you get to repair the iconic Millennium Falcon and defend droid hero R2-D2 from incoming stormtroopers using a lightsaber.

Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay screenshot
  • Star Wars: Project Porg

A title likely few will play due to its exclusivity to Magic Leap 1, Star Wars: Project Porg was a mixed reality (MR) experiment by ILMxLAB.

Centred around the fluffy little bird-like creatures called Porg which appeared in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, this is essentially a pet simulator where you have to keep the Porg’s healthy and entertained.

  • Star Wars: Jedi Challenges

Hailing back from 2017 when smartphones were still being used for VR purposes, Star Wars: Jedi Challenges was unusual in the fact that it was an augmented reality (AR) experience which required a headset specifically designed for the title, the Lenovo Mirage AR.

The original headset came with a replica lightsaber but you needed a compatible smartphone and a spare £250. The kit was relaunched last year with new controllers and MARVEL Dimension of Heroes but still tanked. No longer available on Lenovo’s website, the headset can still be found on Amazon’s US site for around $64 USD.

  • Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

A location-based entertainment (LBE) experience from The VOID which certainly would’ve been packed today had it not been for COVID-19 lockdown measures, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire is worth a visit when restrictions ease.

A multiplayer title for up to four people, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire offers untethered VR gaming set on the molten planet of Mustafar. Providing what The VOID calls a ‘hyper-reality experience’ which involves heat, wind and other elements to increase immersion, you’re dressed as Stormtroopers infiltrating an Empire base. With puzzles to solve and blasters to shoot enemies, this is another title which is treated as canon, created in partnership with ILMxLAB.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

Entertainment

Of course, you may want to spend today watching all the films, animation series and other Star Wars content. Unless you own any of it on DVD or BluRay then the only way to do this now is through streaming service Disney+.

Unlike Netflix which does have a VR app, Disney+ doesn’t, so you’ll need to use desktop mirroring services like Bigscreen Beta or Virtual Desktop. Disney+ currently offers a 7-day free trial, so sign-up online to start your week-long binge.

Either app makes it relatively easy to mirror your desktop into a VR headset like Oculus Rift, Valve Index or HTC Vive. VRFocus uses Bigscreen Beta in conjunction with Oculus Quest for example. While not as handy as a dedicated app, the method still offers a decent VR solution.

And that’s your lot. If VRFocus has missed any other content or ways of enjoying Star Wars in VR do let us know in the comments below.