Non-gaming music apps have yet to take off for virtual reality headsets, in comparison to games. Music games, though, have some promise – as shown by the multi-million sales success of Beat Saber, whose developer was acquired by Facebook in November 2019.
Now there’s a new VR music game on the block: Supernatural. Released for Facebook’s Oculus Quest headset, it’s been described by The Verge as “sort of like Beat Saber meets Peloton” with its mixture of rhythm game and workout exercises. “You use motion controllers to bash blocks coming towards you in time to the music, like countless other VR rhythm games. But Supernatural also uses curated workouts, choreographed patterns, and human instructors who are with you all the way, encouraging you to push harder and explaining how to get the most out of your body movements.”
This comes with a business model from the fitness world too: after a 30-day free trial, Supernatural players will pay a $19 monthly subscription fee. It’s the work of startup Within (which had a partnership with Universal Music back in 2017) and its music *is* licensed: “a deal with the music industry that’s much closer to what a Spotify deal is. You’re licensing a large catalog and not just one individual song” as Within’s Chris Milk described it.
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