YouTube is fully embracing virtual reality, as of today.
YouTube has long offered 360-degree videos, in which you can pan around and watch and feel like you're in the middle of the action, though it's not the same as strapping on an immersive VR headset like Oculus Rift, which would undoubtedly be more captivating. Well, Google-owned YouTube must've felt the same way, because it's adding virtual reality capabilities with the latest update to its service.
It now supports VR-enabled videos, a new kind of video that - much like 360-degree video - gives you a sense of depth as you look around in every direction. These new videos require an Android smartphone, the latest version of the YouTube app, and the Google Cardboard virtual-reality headset (or any certified viewing peripheral, which you can read more about from here).
And that's it.
Here's a playlist of new VR-enabled videos on YouTube. Load one up on the YouTube app, then slot your phone in the viewer, and you'll be free to get that additional sense of depth that YouTube claims will make you feel as though you're actually there. In addition to all this, YouTube is adding the ability to watch any video with the Cardboard headset, and that includes vlogs, unboxing videos, etc.
Using the same setup, Cardboard will create a secluded, virtual, movie theater-style experience. It'll seem like your watching a large screen in a dark room, but the idea is you should feel immersed. It's not VR, but close.