If you’re not ready to spend nearly a thousand dollars to experience VR, HTC’s got a solution for you. HTC has launched the Viveport Arcade and plans to open thousands of locations by 2017 by partnering with Leke VR, a company that specializes in VR peripherals which are easily applied to “public” VR such as arcades, entertainment centers or internet cafes.
VR accessible to the public has some unique challenges, and some unique opportunities as well – the inevitable wear and tear on equipment, even more so than the traditional keyboard, mouse, and seats which are the usual points of interaction in an internet cafe for example, is magnified with VR – headsets, controllers, headphones, and the unique peripherals that are starting to pop out.
This is offset by the ease of access to unwieldy peripherals and the chance to test out the experience first before committing, something that cannot be done by the average home consumer. Leke VR has a number of “VR peripherals” that dovetails nicely with the functionality of VR equipment, and this Beijing -based company is also able to reach out to the VR-using public through their “VRLe” offline content distribution platform – basically Leke’s range of partner arcades, cafes, and entertainment centers.
HTC will gather and curate VR content, as well as manage operations and marketing. It’s a strong push by one of VR’s champions to increase awareness of the possibilities of VR as well as put it in reach of the average consumer.