With virtual reality (VR) taking centre stage in 2016, tech giants like Facebook, Valve, Sony, Microsoft, among others are investing heavily in exploring new immersive VR technology. But Bandai Namco, the Japan-based arcade, mobile and home video game publisher, is looking to bring the experience to masses without breaking the bank.
The company is launching a new VR Zone in Tokyo on 15 April. The publisher's Project i Can, a virtual reality arcade centre, will provide people a chance to try out VR without spending a fortune on it. The project would remain open from April to mid-October.
The VR Zone will also function as a research facility and the company would seek feedback from users on the VR experience to use in future projects. Bandai Namco will offer six different games for people to try including Ski Rodeo, Real Drive, Escape Ward Omega, Train Meister and Argyle Shift. One game in particular – the Fear Of Heights Show – is terrifying and involves rescuing a cat on a wooden plank 60 stories above the ground.
While the teaser video for the VR Zone might be a tad dramatic, the premise certainly has scare-the-pants-off-you potential.
Virtual reality experiences within arcades and theme parks have been gaining momentum recently. Samsung and Six Flags partnered up in March to introduce the first ever VR roller coasters in North America. High-tech sci-fi theme park The Void is planning several additional parks around the world in addition to its park in Utah.
The VR Zone will be available through appointments which the company will open up online on 8 April.