One of the best location-based VR entertainment platforms just got even better.
With premium location-based VR experiences on the rise, free-roam providers have started getting creative with their platforms in the hopes of attracting an increasingly hard-to-please audience away from a growing pool of competitors. Some companies have focused their efforts on partnering with top-name brands, such as The VOID and their Ghostbusters: Dimensions, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, and Ralph Breaks VR warehouse experiences.
Zero Latency, on the other hand, has taken a more technical approach to their platform by offering fine-tuned location-based experiences that feature high accuracy tracking for maximum immersion while in-game. Until now this was done using custom OSVR headsets, PC backpacks, and a whole slew of cables and cameras.
For the next generation of Zero Latency free-roam VR gaming, the company is incorporating new technology that promises not only to increase the overall quality of their experiences, but drastically cut the prices of their warehouse-scale packages as well; allowing more operators than ever the chance to hop on the free-roam bandwagon.
The most noticeable change to come along with Zero Latency Generation 2 is the upgrade to HP’s brand new Windows Mixed Reality headset and SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping)-based system. Ditching their custom OSVR for inside-out tracking not only results in more high quality in-game visuals, but removes the need for an extensive system of cables and cameras necessary for standard outside-in tracking. Zero Latency worked directly with HP and Intel to provide direct integration, successfully converting the device from a room-scale VR solution to a fully-functional warehouse-scale device. This also negates the need for a dedicated server room, further lowering the starting price.
“We have the greatest free-roam VR experiences in the world. Our focus is bringing the Zero Latency VR experience to more people, taking virtual reality entertainment into the mainstream,” says Zero Latency CEO Tim Ruse. “With our new platform, it’s never been easier to start a successful VR entertainment venue. We want our experiences to blow you away no matter which Zero Latency VR venue you’re at,” Ruse continues. “Our new platform enables us to consistently deliver customer experiences of an exceptional quality across our network.”.
As a result of these new upgrades, the average price of a Gen 2 location-based warehouse package to be roughly $199,000 USD ($275,000), as opposed to the $350,000 USD ($495,000) price tag included with Gen 1. Zero Latency is also offering flexible packages based on the needs and size of operators; Option 1 features a playspace of 34ft x 60ft to 26ft x 52ft and every size in between, while Option 2 provides a 50ft x 50ft to 39ft x 39ft area.
In an interview with VRScout, Ruse, along with Scott Vandonkellaar–Chief Technology Officer at Zero Latency–dove into their overall goals for the company and location-based VR in general. Ruse expressed their desire of “taking what is a really exciting product that people love to play and bringing it into the mainstream by making it more cost-effective to set-up so that more operators get on board.”
The team established their commitment to previous releases, promising older games operating on their V.1 platform would eventually be integrated into V.2. For instance, Sol Raiders, the companies recent competitive multiplayer shooter, was confirmed to be heading to the new set-up, bringing even more precision to their first esports-ready free-roam experience. Of course the companies popular co-op adventures will also join the mix, providing what the company hopes will be a healthy amount of varied content. Current Gen 1 operators will also receive continued support for their platform and its experiences.
According to Ruse and Vandonkellaar, it’s all about “trying to pick the best of both worlds to make something completely new, while still accepting you are going to have people come in wanting to shoot a zombie. Because, why wouldn’t you?”
Zero Latency currently has 29 VR venues operational throughout 18 countries across 5 continents, with plans to open at least 71 new locations by the end of 2020.