New Godzilla series hints VR movies could pick up where 3D left off

Godzilla Apple TV series
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has announced a new live-action series - Monarch: Legacy of Monsters - which has reportedly been filmed in the ‘Immersive Video’ format.

The series depicts the thunderous battle between Godzilla and the Titans that razed San Francisco. It comprises ten episodes starring Kurt and Wyatt Russell and will debut on Apple TV+ in late 2023. 

Back in June, Apple announced the new format alongside their Vision Pro headset. The headset is described as being a ‘spatial computer’ designed to blend digital content with your physical environment. 

The ‘Immersive Video’ format is designed for “180-degree high-resolution recordings with Spatial Audio” and represents an evolution from stereoscopic 3D that allows the user to be more immersed and to look around. 

The Apple Vision Pro headset is set to release in 2024, with the device expected to reach the UK by the end of that year. Featuring a hefty price tag of $3500 (around £2500), it’s unlikely that this first initial model of Vision Pro will be able to attract a huge audience. 

Apple Vision Pro Headset

(Image credit: Apple)

It's possible that as time passes and production prices decrease, future models may be more affordable and might enjoy a level of popularity that Apple is used to seeing.

According to Screen Times podcast host Sigmund Judge’s sources, Monarch: Legacy of Monster has been shot in the ‘Immersive Video’ format. Following this news, there have been plenty of rumours about other Apple TV+ shows being shot in the same format, we’ll comment more on this topic as new information emerges. 

Some sources have noticed that the first-look image of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters shared by Apple is in a wide aspect ratio, 21:9 to be precise - significantly wider than 16:9 on TV displays.

It’s not yet clear if the immersive shots will include the entire show, select sequences, or just extra content. It’s likely that if Apple’s Vision Pro and any other similar products make their mark, then ‘Immersive Video’ may be a more widely used format by Apple in the future. 

This latest attempt at VR TV could be seen as a way of trying to pick up where 3D left off. The reality is that 3D TVs were pushed too early, in a time of 1080p. This resolution was fine for 2D TV, however, creating a 3D image involves halving the resolution. This meant the level of loss was too obvious and not enjoyable to watch. 

The advent of 4K TVs practically killed off the attempted force-feeding of 3D by TV manufacturers - even Samsung hasn't produced a 3D TV since 2015. This increase in resolution to 4K means that 3D could actually be viable now, though we doubt it'll ever take off due to the fact that it was pushed too hard during its early stages. 

AR and VR have seen a fair push over the last decade yet still haven't cracked the mainstream. Perhaps this format of immersive TV and movies could be the spiritual successor some people have been waiting for. 


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Staff Writer

Ainsley Walker is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied music journalism at university before working in a variety of roles including as a freelance journalist and teacher. Growing up in a family of hi-fi enthusiasts, this naturally influenced his interest in the topic. Outside of work, Ainsley can be found producing music, tinkering with retro tech, or cheering on Luton Town.