Arcades are happy places. Even before earning tickets, swipe cards, and overcrowding, these were places to spend some time and a few coins to try out games that were not easily playable from home. I’ve outgrown most of those games by now, but at the same time, arcades have also outgrown a lot of games that are easily accessible from home, as well as games played primarily on mobile devices.
Along comes a new form of gaming that looks to overturn the slow trend towards the home for gaming activities – VR with the promise of room-scale, or even “warehouse-scale” gaming. Arcades are making a resurgence, and they’re doing it with the best partner possible.
There’s a lot of factors contributing to the idea of VR arcades soon gaining popularity. Primary of course is the market leaders’ efforts to further propagate the technology – especially HTC’s efforts to create both the game ecosystem (other than Steam) especially for the Vive, and promoting “thousands” of VR internet cafes in China and Taiwan, and eventually, the rest of the world.
Another factor is the number of wireless VR startups racing to release the best solution for untethered PC VR gaming, even at this stage there’s already three strong contenders vying for the wireless crown – TPCAST (already out now), IMR technologies with their Mach 2K, and Scalable Graphics with the KwikVR. Even Intel is working with HTC for their own solution, with undoubtedly more companies creating their own versions.
There’s also the efforts of third party companies to apply VR technology to attractions similar to the paint gun or laser tag arenas that are still popular today – the aforementioned “warehouse-scale” VR is the best description for this. The introduction of the next factor makes this development even more exciting – now companies won’t have to ad-hock their own solutions to make large scale VR possible.
The final piece that completes the VR arcade puzzle is HTC’s release of the Vive Tracker, which busts the doors wide open for all sorts of peripherals to easily become part of a VR setup, with guns, swords and sports equipment the most obvious examples coming out in the near future.
So if you’re the type who wants to try before buying, or simple can not consider spending for the headset and a good PC to run VR from house, or if you don’t to spend for the inevitable flood of peripherals coming for VR, or simply don’t have enough space at home, then these VR arcades will be the perfect place to visit, even if these VR games won’t give you any tickets to redeem.
Featured Image Credit The Verge