How to celebrate New Year's in VR

AltspaceVR event
AltspaceVR event (Image credit: AltspaceVR)

For years, whenever we couldn't go out and celebrate the new year with other people, we have watched fireworks on the TV. Whether you watch Dick Clark from Time Square or the London Fireworks over Big Ben, you were always confined to watching the screen in front of you.

With Virtual Reality, however, we can be much more involved in the action, and even meet up with people celebrating all over the world. While they are not a massive amount of choices for watching New Year's in VR we have listed them for you right here.

The BBC YouTube Channel

Since 2016 the BBC has had a 360-degree video of the fireworks entertainment over the Thames river, looking at the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. It's a fantastic show, and because it is filmed on high resolution 360-degree cameras, you can look around and see the huge crowds behind you.

The immersive feeling this gives is really quite special, everyone singing Auld Lang Syne is particularly touching, and if you push the volume of your headphones way up you should really get a feel for the fireworks above you.


VTime is a social app for VR that allows you to create social spaces to hang out in. With this app, you can connect virtually with your friends all over the world and enjoy New Year together. While you can't watch the ball drop in VTime, you can enjoy the company of people you like and sing Auld Lang Syne together.

VTime is free on Google Play and the Oculus Store for Daydream, Oculus Go, and Gear VR, but unfortunately, there is no PlayStation VR app as yet.

ABC News VR New Year's Rocking EVE

Last year ABC News VR was on hand to stream the entire New York New Year's Party, and while we can't find anything that specifically says they will do it for 2019, it seems likely they will. As you can see from the video above the crowds are huge in New York, and the music is playing for hours.

You should use your YouTube VR app on just about any VR device for this and maybe get yourself a drink or two while you watch the people dance from all directions. If you want to check this video out and just be there for the ball to drop it starts at this point.

Hang out with AltspaceVR

Not everybody is close enough to home to spend the last day — or night — of 2018 with friends or family. If that's the case, then all is not lost. AltspaceVR is an excellent place to ring in the New Year in VR. You'll be able to virtually transport yourself to an awesome party, filled with other New Year's revelers, all without ever leaving the warm comfort of your living room.

One of the awesome parts about AltspaceVR, is that it's available on any current VR headset except the PlayStation VR. It won't matter if you're hanging out in Gear VR, Google Daydream, or even HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, you'll be able to enjoy yourself. Now that Microsoft owns AltspaceVR you can also get the app directly on your Windows Mixed Reality headset too. When you remember that videos can be played inside the room where you're hanging out, this means that you can still watch the ball drop in NYC, or check out the celebrations all over the world.

Get AltspaceVR

Help us find more

As you can see your choices are fairly limited right now on how you can watch VR. Do you have other sources? Drop them in the comments, and if we can verify them, we will add them to the article.

James Bricknell
Since the days of the HTC Hero James has had two or three Android phones stuffed into pockets. James is always on hand to offer advice on phones, apps and most recently, PlayStation, especially VR, It's now something of an obsession. Find him @keridel wherever Media Socials itself.