(Members of all-girl pop group STU48 experience a VR movie)
Vaio Corp., a spinoff from Sony Corp., said Tuesday it will start showing virtual reality movies in a theater in Tokyo from July 2.
Vaio, which took over Sony's personal computer business, is hoping to expand the VR market by combining the realistic visual experience with the theater's powerful audio equipment.
This will be the first time VR movies have been shown at a theater in Japan, according to the company. So far, VR has been mainly used in console games and amusement attractions at theme parks.
VR enables viewers with special goggles to see images in 3D so they feel as if they are part of the movie.
Vaio and movie studio operator Toei Company Ltd. said they will show short films, including the popular Japanese animation series "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and a spinoff of "Osomatsu Kun," created by the late Japanese manga artist Fujio Akatsuka, in the Shinjuku Wald 9 theater. Tickets will cost 1,500 yen ($13.7).
"We want to increase the value of going to a movie theater," Hidenobu Muramatsu, a director of Toei told a press conference in Tokyo.