With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to dive into why VR is such a great date night activity.
There are quite a few reasons for this but I have 4 main ones I want to talk about.
Number 1, is of course that it’s different. Not may people have tried VR before and it just makes for a fun night out. Trying something different than the norm is always a good thing in my books and who knows, maybe you’ll both find something you are good at! It’s not a movie and it’s not a nice dinner but it’s a perfect complimentary activity to any of those things. Instead of dinner & a movie or dinner & a show, you do dinner and VR. It’s completely interchangeable.
Number 2, is that it’s Multiplayer. One of the best things about VR is obviously how immersive of an experience it is, and it can absolutely be fun watching each other play and taking turns, but the fun really goes up to eleven when you each step into a booth. Go on quests together in Trickster, survive the zombie apocalypse in Arizona Sunshine or even just play ping pong in Eleven: Table Tennis. There are many experiences to choose from, even if you’d rather share a station and take turns. A lot of single player games are score-based in VR so you can simply play a couple of rounds set a high score and your partner can try and beat it. I would say that Beat Saber takes the cake on this one, and Space Pirate Trainer is a good second place contestant.
Number 3, is, well, it’s just so much fun. A movie is cool because you’re watching an amazing cinematic masterpiece by your favourite director, or you want to laugh or cry, but VR takes an activity like that to the next level. Instead of sitting and watching, you’re actually doing the actions and guiding your own experience. I know it sounds silly to compare a movie to VR in that sense, but you can even watch short films that take place in a 360 environment if that’s more your speed. The Great C is a great 30 minute animated story that takes you along a journey into the unknown. Cry, laugh, and enjoy the immersive aspects that only VR can bring to the table, or to the booth in this case.
Number 4, is it’s not just for gamers. I know, crazy proposition, right? Because with VR, you are actually fully doing the action, it’s way more natural than trying to remember buttons on a controller or mouse and keyboard. If you want to aim your gun, you simply hold up your hand and aim your gun. If you want to pick something up off the ground, or spin a lock, you just reach and physically do the action. It’s very fun and fully immersive. With room-scale VR, if you crouch in real life, you crouch in game! The reason I say that it’s not just for gamers is because it’s usually pretty natural to do the movements, people pick it up very quickly. It becomes natural within minutes and the barrier of controls fades away, and the fun takes over.
So book your session today, just in time for Valentine’s Day 2019! There’s still time for a great date night!
We’ve talked in the past about wireless VR technology in it’s most accessible form, that being Standalone VR Headsets. However, today I want to focus on a different style of wireless VR. That being the pros and cons that come along with cutting the cable on your high end, PC tethered, VR headset to achieve a more freeing virtual reality experience.
Okay, whoa slow down, don’t actually cut the cable! I mean this in a figurative sense as the market now has two version of wireless technologies, a third party one and a first party one. Let’s talk about the former first.
TP-Cast ($249.99 USD)
Released in mid-2017, the TPCastVR is a wireless kit which you add to your play area and allows for not having a cable running from your headset to your PC. The setup is as follows: There is a standalone 60GHz wireless transmitter that must be installed above the user, a receiver attached to the user’s head strap, and that cable runs from the headset to a battery either attached to the headset or in the user’s pocket. Not the most glamorous setup, but this was the first time we saw something like this and it created this whole market for wireless VR.
While complaints were issued, and we’ve experienced them, the 2nd generation seems to have addressed some of them, but not all. And as a plus, it can now be ordered internationally, and it no longer needs to be sneaked out of China by a school of trained carrier pigeons.
HTC Wireless Adapter ($299.99 USD)
When HTC released their wireless adapter earlier this year, it showed that HTC has finally seen the potential benefits of developing a wireless medium for their headsets: to be able to free the user from the cable and allow them to move freely throughout their space, at an added cost. The same as the TPCast, the user will mount a transmitter (this time plugged into the PC itself) and a receiver on the headset once again. The transmitter’s location is a severe limitation for all who rely on “VR Ready” laptops and pre-build pretty machine such as the Asus GR8 and G20, which don’t have the physical space to fit the transmitter within.
So what are the main benefits to this? What about free roam VR?
These are all really good questions and it really comes down to a few things. As VR is already somewhat of a small-market product, and the wireless solution targets a niche of a niche. But let’s address these questions in reverse order.
Free roam VR: While it may be great for a venue such as ours, well… maybe not such as ours, larger venues. What is understood as Freeroam VR implies the use of backpack PCs, like the HP Omen X P1000 Series or the MSI ONE VR, which may be cool, but realistically beyond VR you’re better off with a laptop at your local coffee shop. If you plan on getting this tech at home I’d recommend you stick with the traditional high-end desktop (or ultra-high-end laptop) plus and the TP-Cast if you have an Oculus and the HTC solution for the VIVE (and VIVE PRO). Worst case scenario you will end up with a high quality, high capacity power bank that you can take on lengthier trips.
That being said touching on the benefits of the wireless, @$250+ USD for a power bank may be overkill, but that is a serendipitous occurrence. Wireless VR, in your house, saves you a lot, and I do mean a Lot, of hassle when it comes to spinning around in circles and not having to worry about stepping over the cable or having it coil up. But the question then is how much time are you spending in VR? And is it a worthwhile extra investment? From an early adopter perspective, who as purchased a TP-Cast, I use the power bank more than my personal VIVE, granted it is 1st gen. But if you are an avid VR user, the benefits of the wireless are there, from Developer to Gamer and Streamer, A wireless solution allows you to be strapped to the headset and jump off your seat and in VR and back at the drop of a hat.
BUT, but if you are on the fence, and have not invested in VR yet, I’d say you wait, test the VIVE Focus if you can get your hands on one this year, or the Oculus Quest that launches sometime Q1 or Q2 2019.
Lastly, while we don’t offer wireless VR, you won’t tangle yourself with the cable in our space. So stop by and try our Game of the Month on the house for a chase to win hourlong sessions or redeemable points.
Halloween is a great excuse to scare the living daylights out of someone you love. I don’t know about you, but I love experiences that make me want to scream at the top of my lungs in terror. Of course, there are always traditional scary movies or haunted houses to partake in, but why not take it a step further by getting frightened in virtual reality? The immersive realness that is
VR is bound to give you jump scares that will get your adrenaline pumping. Here are the best experiences we love to get terrified in!
The Brookhaven Experiment
A VR horror original developed by Phosphor games, players must use the weapons and tools provided to survive terrifying waves of horrific monsters in an attempt to figure out what caused the beginning of the end of the world, and, if they’re strong enough, stop it from happening.
This one has been a tried and true thriller since VRPlayin opened its doors in 2016. A single player experience, convince your friend it’s “not that scary” and watch them shriek and flail in an attempt to stop hordes of zombie-like creatures from eating your face off. A guaranteed scare for the person playing, and a guaranteed laugh for the person watching you play.
A first-person survival exploration experience that will keep you holding your breath. This is a horror game about immersion, exploration, and terror in a collection of horror scenarios set on a sci-fi stage. The environment is so eerie you can almost smell the fear, but it takes its time to find you. Try to survive as long as you can against unknown horrors, and don’t say I didn’t warn you when you won’t be able to sleep for a couple weeks after trying this one.
Arizona Sunshine: Mine
Arizona Sunshine is a zombie-shooter favorite in the VR world. Specifically, in theme with Halloween, see if you can make it through the Mine level without throwing the headset off your face. Navigate your way through dark, underground tunnels with nothing but a gun and a flashlight. Did I mention the flashlight kind of sucks and only spotlights small areas of your vision? Say hello to jump scares and more zombie blood and guts than you’ve ever seen.
Raw Data: Dark Source
Admittingly, this one isn’t technically Halloween-themed, but trying to survive against hundreds of robots attacking you is pretty damn scary, especially since it takes place in the dark. Plus, Raw Data is just so good of a game we had to include it. Make sure you get the kill before turning around, otherwise you’ll find robot torsos flying across the room at you, which is definitely unsettling. Whoever said we shouldn’t be afraid of AI in the future needs to play this level.
Affected: The Manor
The newest addition to the VRPlayin catalog and my personal favorite on this list, Affected: The Manor is a classic haunted house experience. Don’t let that description convince you it’s anything but generic though. Make your way through the haunted halls of the manor if you dare. An experience that lasts around 15 minutes but feels like a lifetime, I was tense the entire way through. I don’t want to spoil it too much, but trust me when I say this is one freaky experience. Good luck being in the dark after completing this one.
If I haven’t scared you away yet, come and try all five of these experiences on Halloween night at VRPlayin! This October 31st from 5pm-11pm, we’re showcasing all these games in an attempt to frighten the crap out of you. Only $5 per experience, or $20 to try them all. Let’s get terrified together!
This is the last part of the “VR in Japan” Series, for 2018 at least. If you haven’t followed so far, then I recently went to Japan on a work-vacation, work-cation, trip and have done my very best to sample all the country has to offer in terms of virtual reality. Needless to say, I was almost disappointed, but there is hope. In previous parts I’ve given an overview of the industry, talked about VRZONE (probably the largest VR venue in the world, size and headset count wise), I’ve talked about the underdogs and VR for promotional use. What I left for the last part is the big boys, but not the big boss, as that title will stay with VRZONE at least in Japan, outside VR PARK in Dubai may prove to be a worthwhile contender. So without beating around the bush anymore, today we’ll be talking about SEGA and Adores.
While the word ‘Startup’ was what I wanted in the title, I realized it would not define all the companies touched upon in this post. This is not due to the lack of innovation that they bring to the industry but in some cases we will be talking about big companies with small innovative uses of VR as well as the public sector’s interest in the technology.
You may be familiar with the fact we talk about gaming a lot by now, however VR has many sides to it that take on multiple forms of content! One of the more interesting sides in cinematic experiences in VR. Immersing yourself fully in the content is second to none and really takes the experience to a whole new level. Let’s talk about a few great pieces of content that you can look up today!