The Top 15 YouTube VR Videos of 2018YOUTUBE VR
Got a new holiday VR headset? Immerse yourself in these VR music videos
With the arrival of the Lenovo Mirage Solo, Oculus Go, and Xiaomi Mi VR -- standalone VR headsets with no PC requirement -- 2018 was a breakout year for mobile VR, with a 417.7% bump in sales during Q2 alone.
Now that holiday season is here, many will find themselves equipped with brand new headsets wanting to know what content lives up to the medium's promise. The following list offers 15 of the top VR videos (both 360° and VR180) of the year available on YouTube -- spanning travel, nature, sports, entertainment, animation, and more.
1) 360 video, Victoria Falls, The Pearl of Africa. 5K aerial video in English
Don't let the gorgeous visuals fool you -- reaching the Victoria waterfalls is no easy feat. These creators had to travel 24 hours across several planes to get to Livingstone to capture the world's largest waterfall. But the result speaks for itself, showcasing the "smoke that thunders" like never before, in full, aerial 360° (be sure to catch the rainbow!).
2) VOLTA Hair Suspension in VR180 | IMMERCIRQUE Episode 2 | Cirque du Soleil Artist Danila Bim
Go behind the scenes with Cirque du Soleil artists as they prep for performance in IMMERCIRQUE. In this episode, viewers follow Danila Blim backstage through training, makeup, costume, and exclusive hair suspension performance from VOLTA.
3) Wild With: Bears
Want the thrill of seeing a Kodiak grizzly bear at life size without risking your own? Start here.
4) Elton John - Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour: The Launch (VR180)
In this announcement for his last-ever tour, “Farwell Yellow Brick Road,” join Sir Elton John in a live, on-stage performance -- including a chat with Anderson Cooper.
5) 360° | ISLE OF DOGS | Behind The Scenes (in Virtual Reality) | FoxNext VR Studio
Wes Anderson's return to stop-motion filmmaking, Isle of Dogs, garnered mainstream and critical appreciation -- and this VR experience takes you into the process. Sit face-to-face with the eponymous dogs while the crew creates the animation around you.
6) Aerospace Engineer Tiera Fletcher's career in 360° VR | The Female Planet | Episode 3
In the third episode of the VR series, The Female Planet, we follow Tiera Fletcher, a Boeing aerospace engineer working with NASA to design the rocket that will take humans to the moon and on to Mars. Dive into her career, while she explains how her work will help us realize the dream of finally setting foot on Mars.
7) 360 Google Doodles/Spotlight Stories: Back to the Moon
Google Spotlight Stories has been behind some of the most important narrative VR work to date, and in this joint project with Google Doodles, Google Arts & Culture, and Cinémathèque Française -- and produced by Nexus Studios -- we find a celebration of the life of French director (and illusionist) Georges Méliès. The project garnered an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Original Interactive Program for its novel animation of the iconic artist.
8) The Joel Embiid 360-Degree Experience | GQ
Get up close and personal with NBA All-Star Joel Embiid as he takes on one-on-one matchups and destroys the rim in this GQ-produced immersive video.
9) Escape the Night Season 3 | Welcome to Everlock in VR180
Teleport back to 1978 with Joey Graceffa and friends to discover the horror of Everlock in a frozen-moment, on-rails experience.
10) Free Solo 360 | National Geographic
One of the great aspects of VR is how it can transport us places we could never go on our own -- in this case, that's Yosemite's epic El Capitan, on a daunting free solo climb with Alex Honnold.
11) Africa’s Pristine Delta in 360 - Ep. 1 | The Okavango Experience
Dr. Steve Boyes and his team embarked on an 18-day expedition through the Okavango Delta, a secluded wetland in Botswana. Lucky for us, they captured it in VR, letting us view lions, zebras, and elephants -- among other diverse African wildlife -- in their natural habitat.
12) Lines of Sight - A Guided Virtual Reality Experience
In this groundbreaking video, taste the thrill of heli-skiing from the comfort of your own (much warmer) home.
13) Do Not Touch (360 VR)
Look, there are rules for a reason. In this case, touching the art in this museum can have...unintended consequences. Then again, what's the fun in that? Jump into inside -- and judge for yourself how the AI style transfer situates you in the world of the paintings.
14) Nightflyers VR - Chapter 1
Need a George R.R. Martin fix while we wait for Game of Thrones this spring? Syfy's Nightflyers is here to help -- and this VR chapter brings you aboard the ship with Kel, a new recruit, to unveil secrets about the ship's mysterious cargo.
15) Jeep® Sessions: A Surfing Journey in 360 ̊
It's not a surfing "journey" for nothing. In addition to witnessing WSL Championship Tour surfers Jordy Smith and Malia Manuel carving waves, this experience also documents quest to find the absolute best spots, with plenty of scenic vistas along the way.
Check back for more end-of-year virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) coverage.