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Baseball coming June 1 to virtual-reality headsets

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/22/2017 By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Technology Writer
This photo provided by MLB Advanced Media demonstrates 3-D pitch visualization in the company's new At Bat VR app. Baseball games will soon arrive on virtual-reality headsets. Video in the new At Bat VR app won’t be in VR. Rather, the app places you behind home plate and shows you graphical depictions of each pitch, including a colored streak (red for strikes and green for balls) tracing the ball’s trajectory. Traditional TV coverage of the games will appear on a virtual screen in front of you, alongside play-by-play information and individual player stats. (MLB Advanced Media via AP) © The Associated Press This photo provided by MLB Advanced Media demonstrates 3-D pitch visualization in the company's new At Bat VR app. Baseball games will soon arrive on virtual-reality headsets. Video in the new At Bat VR app won’t be in VR. Rather, the app places you behind home plate and shows you graphical depictions of each pitch, including a colored streak (red for strikes and green for balls) tracing the ball’s trajectory. Traditional TV coverage of the games will appear on a virtual screen in front of you, alongside play-by-play information and individual player stats. (MLB Advanced Media via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball games will soon arrive on virtual-reality headsets.

This photo provided by MLB Advanced Media shows a Stream Live MLB Games demonstration in the company's new At Bat VR app. Baseball games will soon arrive on virtual-reality headsets. Video in the new At Bat VR app won’t be in VR. Rather, the app places you behind home plate and shows you graphical depictions of each pitch, including a colored streak (red for strikes and green for balls) tracing the ball’s trajectory. Traditional TV coverage of the games will appear on a virtual screen in front of you, alongside play-by-play information and individual player stats. (MLB Advanced Media via AP) © The Associated Press This photo provided by MLB Advanced Media shows a Stream Live MLB Games demonstration in the company's new At Bat VR app. Baseball games will soon arrive on virtual-reality headsets. Video in the new At Bat VR app won’t be in VR. Rather, the app places you behind home plate and shows you graphical depictions of each pitch, including a colored streak (red for strikes and green for balls) tracing the ball’s trajectory. Traditional TV coverage of the games will appear on a virtual screen in front of you, alongside play-by-play information and individual player stats. (MLB Advanced Media via AP)

Video in the new At Bat VR app won't be in VR. Rather, the app places you behind home plate and shows you graphical depictions of each pitch, including a colored streak (red for strikes and green for balls) tracing the ball's trajectory. The data come from sensors Major League Baseball already has installed in all of its stadiums.

The app also lets you hover over icons to see the speed and type of each pitch, as well as which parts of a strike zone is strong or weak for a particular batter. Traditional TV coverage of the games will appear on a virtual screen in front of you, alongside play-by-play information and individual player stats.

It's more information that casual baseball fans will want, but hard-core fans might get a kick from having this perspective supplement what they see with regular TV cameras. Baseball's regular At Bat app does have some of this information, but not in 3-D and not while watching video.

At Bat VR will also have a section for 360-degree video packages, but not of actual games.

At Bat VR is included with Major League Baseball's existing streaming packages. For live video, that starts at about $87 for the season. At Bat VR is also subject to the usual blackouts for local teams; in such cases, the graphical depictions will still be available, but not the live video within the headset. (Audio is available with the cheaper At Bat Premium subscription for $20; non-paying users get just the graphics and stats.)

The VR app comes out June 1 and works with Android phones and headsets compatible with Google's Daydream VR system. There's no version for iPhones.

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