The Oculus Go has barely been launched, it's already had four stars from us, and sold out at Amazon, and now someone's come along with a potential killer app for it. MelodyVR lets you have access to a catalogue of live performances shot in 360 degree HD, putting you right there at the gig, but without the danger of having a tall person in a hat standing right in front of you, or a drunk spilling cheap lager down your back.
I actually saw MelodyVR what feels like years ago (okay, it was late 2016), and it seemed like a nifty product. Evidently what it needed was a platform with lots of buzz and many users. And lo, merely 18 months later, along came Oculus Go and so it is now officially launching.
There was a lot of talk at the Oculus launch about social apps, video and 'experiences' – Netflix is on board, alongside various America-only streaming experiments. The UK's MelodyVR fits neatly into that, being "the world’s first dedicated virtual reality music platform".
A simple interface allows you to choose from a growing library of gigs and 'VIP sessions' from 'all over the world' – so not just downstairs at the Underworld in Camden, where the company is based.
You can choose where you want to stand, and then move at will to a new one, without having to squeeze past a load of sweaty men holding dangerously full pints of cheap lager in those squashy plastic cups. You can be in the front row, deep in the crowd, or 'up-close-and-personal with the band on stage', without fear of being aggressively dismissed by venue security.
As MelodyVR puts it, you can 'stand alongside KISS amidst an explosion of confetti,' although having once met Gene Simmons of KISS, I might give that one a miss. You could also 'catch a moment alone with Sigrid as she plays catchy choruses under clear blue skies.' These are not just the best seats in the house, says MelodyVR, they're 'better than the best seats in the house.'
The service is initially compatible with Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR, with Vive, Sony PSVR and Microsoft Mixed Reality support 'coming soon'. It's free to download and gigs generally seem to cost £10 although the more 'established' (elderly) rock acts are £13.
I'll leave the last word to Roger Daltrey of The Who, whose Wembley Arena gig is yours to view in VR splendour for just 13 quid, which is about a tenth of what you'd have paid to get in.
Because he failed to die before he got old, Roger has seen everything, and he has this to say about MelodyVR: "In 1971, Pete Townsend wrote a science fiction musical called Lifehouse about a future where people didn’t have to leave home to get real life experiences from outside their four walls… we thought it was mad! But he proved to be right and MelodyVR have managed to bring this to life.”