Virtual Reality is Invading Gaming

It wasn’t long ago that video games were thought of as nothing more than little computerized trinkets that could supply games in simple formats, and it took quite some time for the video game industry to reach the point it has grown to today. Foundational games of the past had to exist in order to lead to the games of the future, and those games are finally starting to reach the hands of players who have waited for them since childhood. It won’t be long before the dream of a fully realized virtual reality will enter the gaming world.

In a sense, all video games have been virtual reality to a certain degree. The only real difference between those virtual realities and the ones of the future is the perspective from which the player interacts with them. Super Mario started as a simple 2D game where the player controlled the character through a third-person perspective, but the goal is to eventually create a way to have the player enter the game world so they can play from a first-person perspective. While the VR systems of today are starting to get quite a bit more advanced, there is still a long way to go before humanity has the ability to completely replicate the experience of reality. Like something out of The Matrix, a near-perfect virtual world could be the future.

The beginning of the transition to a world that focuses on virtual experience is already here. A full arcade of VR games exists in Hong Kong, and it is only a matter of time before other major cities start to follow suit. The popularity of augmented reality games like Pokemon Go has already proven that the world is ready to see these sorts of virtual technologies incorporated into their entertainment and daily lives.

Bandai VR Zone In Shinjuku Showcases Their HTC Vive-Powered Virtual Reality Games

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.