Sony bets big on virtual concerts and launches a virtual star at CES 2021

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

In the real world artists are constrained by lots of things, including the laws of nature, but virtual concerts make all that a thing of the past.

 

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As COVID-19 continues to accelerate the public’s uptake of anything and everything digital – including most notably for this article virtual beings, and virtual events that range from interacting with digital humans like Fable Studio’s AI characters, or attending Fortnite’s Travis Scott virtual gig, or Riot Games’ mega mixed reality E-Sports event, both of which saw tens of millions of people attend, Sony, who’ve been signing up their own virtual artists, have now announced they’re going all in on virtual events after they pumped over $250million into a new subsidiary called Sony Immersive Music Studios that’s “dedicated to the development of immersive musical experiences through the power of creativity and technology.”

 

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The new entity, which also has a stake in Fortnite, is headed by Brad Spahr, former vice president of Sony Music and to celebrate the company’s launch they created a virtual performance by Madison Beer, an American singer and model, for CES 2021.

 

Take a sneak peak at the preview

 

During the virtual concert Madison sang the songs from her latest album as an ultra-realistic avatar in a virtual version of the Sony Concert Hall, which was re-created especially for the occasion. Sony created the event using real-time 3D capture technology and Epic’s Unreal game engine.

 

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The virtual concert goes further than the simple reproduction of the artist and her environment though. Fire and rain were added which is much more complicated and expensive in a physical show, and if you want to see it “live” for yourself then the full concert will be airing soon on PlayStation VR and Oculus VR. In the meantime though you can see the teasers above. What do you think about the event? Would you watch a virtual concert?

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