Since receiving my Gear VR late last year I've been subjected to so many poor quality 360 degree video experiences that I was begining to think the Gear VR was just not up to the task of playing good quality 360 video.
But all that changed recently when I was able to experience Cirque Du Soleil's Inside The Box of Kurios as it was intended.
I first tried Inside The box of Kurios last month when it was release on the GearVR store but had issues with poor frame rates and juddering which made the experience almost unusable; that was until I upgraded the Android version on my Note4 from Kitkat to Lollipop.
WARNING TO NOTE 4 USERS:Some of the currently available Gear VR games and apps refuse to work on Lollipop; Oculus have advised that a fix will be released in the near future but no set date has been given. I recommend you hold off on the upgrade until the fix for these issue has been released.
After the upgrade to Lollipop it was whole different ball game and it literally opened my eyes to the potential of 360 degree video on Gear VR.
Developed by Felix & Paul Studios who're responsible for some of the better 360 degree video content on the Gear VR including Samsung Gear VR Introduction to VR , Strangers with Patrick Watson and the more recent Jurassic World: APATOSAURUS. Felix and Paul have outdone themselves with Box of Kurios by delivering what I believe to be the highest quality and most immersive 360 degree video experience on the GearVR to date.
The main downfall of 360 video on gear VR has been quality with the majority of videos being highly compressed in an attempt to make the overall file size as small as possible for the mobile platform, this compression has the benefit of allowing quick download or even direct streaming to the Gear VR but at the cost of overall quality. Luckily in the case of The Box of Kurios the developers have been wise enough to give the user the choice of either streaming or downloading. The download options is definitely the way to go, with it coming in at 2.5GB for around 9 minutes of footage its worth the effort.
The experience itself starts you off in what appears to be a wooden crate and as you begin to look around the wooden planks are pulled away to reveal the laughing faces of the Kurios cast of characters and what a bizarre cast they are. Once out of the crate you find yourself on stage being approached by an odd looking fellow with a round tank strapped to his front, he eyes you up as he approaches, after a few derisive grunts the top of his protuberance opens and a tiny woman emerges who welcomes you to the cabinet of curiosities, its then that the fun begins.
Showcasing a small glimpse of the full Kurios Cabinet of Curiosity stage show, the condensed VR version sure packs in a lot with acts ranging from contortionists perched on a giant hand to dancers in their Sunday best; there is just so much going on that you could watch it 4 times over and still never see it all.
The one issue that I still have even after my upgrade to Lollipop is heat, with the back cover off my Note 4 I can usually get through the whole experience once without overheating but twice in a row is a no go and the Note 4 will need at least 10 minutes to cool down before trying again.
Overall this is a great experience and one not to be missed by Gear VR owners, I only wish it were longer.