VR Arcades Is the Latest ‘Laser Tag,' Might Elevate Dwindling Sales Of VR For The Home


Though VR has been around since the '90s, it really has not gotten a strong traction. Reports indicate that it has been gaining ground in China and other parts of Asia.

For those who have experienced VR in the comfort of their own home, there might be one aspect of VR immersion that users have not been placing too much attention on. When one immerses into a VR environment, the user does not have a full body.

C|net reported that even the best VR gear that tracks the user's movement in a room including the head and hands, and walking around, the user just kind of float in the VR environment. The user might be able to walk around albeit missing virtual legs.

During the 2017 Game Developers Conference, new technologies were introduced that allow true full-body immersions into the virtual world. Apart from the virtual headset and controllers, additional HTC Vive trackers are placed on a belt and one on each foot. Each tracker reportedly costs $100.

What it does is track five of a person's primary body parts to be tracked and rendered digitally to the game with the help of spinning lasers. This setup undoubtedly is somewhat expensive as it adds an additional $300 or more to the usual PC and HTC Vive set up one might already have.

Well, users might not have to invest anything at all. By coming to a VR arcade, one can get their VR fix without buying or setting up equipment to enjoy VR. According to The Verge, customers can try VR experiences in paid, bite-sized doses without investing in expensive hardware.

Aside from bringing in larger-than-life cinematic imagery, IMAX has started the IMAX VR Experience Centre in Los Angeles earlier this year. Reports indicate that it is the first of six that the company is planning to put up. Accordingly, the company is targeting China, the UK, New York and another location in California by year's end.

The report indicates that the IMAX VR arcade employs 14 VR pods using HTC Vive and StarVR headsets. Content range from "Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine" to "John Wick Chronicles." They admit though that it is not a perfect set up. However, for people who have never tried VR, it may be the best introductory experience yet.

The efforts have just been restarted last year with hopes that interest in VR escalates more. As such, it would be good news for Developers and the VR industry as well. Sales of VR headsets have been reported to be sluggish as of late.

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