Many cynics are of the opinion that virtual reality is just a fad; another gimmick like 3d television that ends up tucked away in the attic gathering dust.
Well Bandai is here to prove those naysayers wrong with their new VR Zone arcade in Shinjuku, Japan. According to Engadget, VR Zone has two floors which are a total of 37,600 square feet, and could potentially get 1,500 visitors a day.
The arcade contains 12 games total, with some non-virtual reality games near the in-store restaurant. Games featured in the VR arcade include classic Bandai titles such as Gundam, Evangelion, and Dragonball. Also included in the line-up is a virtual reality rendition of the ever popular game Mario Kart, a flying bicycle game, a fishing game, and more.
The most intriguing of these games is the Mario Kart VR because of its setup. Players utilize the traditional steering wheel and pedals, and sit in a force feedback chair. They wear the HTC Vive VR headset and have custom strap-on controllers which allow them to interact with their virtual environment to, say, throw a koopa shell.
Mario Kart VR is the first virtual reality game to be officially licensed by Nintendo, though it is developed by Bandai Namco. Fans of Mario Kart are hoping that the game will eventually make its way to the Nintendo Switch, but there is no evidence that it will as of yet.
If Mario Kart isn’t your taste, you can always learn how to Kamehameha in the Dragon Ball VR game. This game requires two players, and players must put on a total of five HTC Vive motion trackers. A cool feature is that the tracker gloves will rumble in response to actions performed in the game.
With a brief training session from the Dragonball character Goku, you are then sent out to battle the person you are hooked up to the game with.
While the Bandai VR Zone is only located in Japan, one can hope something like it eventually makes its way overseas.