Virtual reality is awesome, but often times its hard for general consumers to experience everything the technology has to offer. Though the industry has made some vast improvements in producing more affordable pre-built computers, the high cost of the headsets themselves are still pretty hard for many consumers to justify. While things like the Playstation VR try to help keep the price down, there are trade-offs including tracking abilities, graphics, and more. Now, HTC is trying to give consumers the ability to experience virtual reality via special arcades in China and Taiwan, and are partnering with Leke VR to pair their Vive headsets with special tracking hardware.
In the video above, we can see that there are various new contraptions the arcades are pairing the Vive with, including static bicycles and gun attachments. China’s Regional President of Vive, Alvin Graylin says that they also want the Viveport Arcades to be another channel where VR developers can distribute their software. In this way, a developer will be able to pitch to have their games playable at these arcades, which would likely result in a boost in sales if users decide to take a headset home. Graylin hopes that this will help to create a strategic partnership between both HTC, Leke VR, and thousands of indie content creators.
There are 1000 locations that are set to be operating by the end of 2016, but the teams say they want to create thousands more while 2017 is still kicking. These plans seem pretty ambitious, but if the groups have enough data showing that people will spend time at these arcades, it might just lead to an “arcade renaissance”.
What do you think about the arcades? Would you visit one if the price is right? I personally the new controller attachments look awesome, and I would love to give them a try if they ever make their way to the states.