Before the time of the home-based video game consoles, there was the time of the good old out-of-home entertainment of the arcade games. The coin-operated gaming machines brought lots of fun to us in the 90s but their golden age dates back to the early 80s. A simple example shows how popular arcades actually were – in 1990 “Pac-Man” alone made $3.5 billion dollars in revenue. That’s a lot of coins.
Even though today one could hardly imagine the arcades making a comeback, HTC are promising to bring VR to thousands arcades by the end of 2017 with their Viveport Arcade program. VR gaming centers are rapidly gaining popularity around the world, and this revival initiative is meant to make it easier for people to open VR arcades as small businesses, and also help developers as it will expose more people to the technology, ultimately bringing much bigger audience for the game developers. The trend is already massive in China but is also generating huge interest in Europe and USA as well.
Kevin Williams, director of digital out-of-home entertainment consultancy KWP and founder of the Digital Out-of-Home Entertainment Network Association says there are 3 types of VR arcade entertainment at the moment. First are the dedicated facilities that offer players to use the latest consumer VR systems. Second are the VR parks in Asia that run the latest VR game systems based on dedicated hardware. And finally, there are the VR arena-scale facilities, which offer VR laser tag style experiences.
Here’s an example of such a facility where the user has to save a kitten from a plank on a city rooftop.
So, would you be interested in trying this type of fun? Or maybe you’ve already tried it? Tell us here in the comments or at our Facebook page!