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Virtual reality is cool because it can put strange new worlds in front of you while you sit at your desk or walk around a small room with the HTC Vive. But one game uses VR to alter a space the size of a basketball court, and it’s headed to Japan.
Zero Latency VR is a Melbourne-based company that has created a life-sized virtual reality shooting game where multiple players walk around a space while wearing a head-mounted display and tracking equipment. Sega has picked up the game and is bringing it to Japan for a permanent installation. The publisher, which owns and operates a number of arcades in Japan, sees potential for VR as a destination technology that could get people out of their houses. That’s a strategy many other entertainment companies are embarking on.
While many consumers are waiting on the price of the Oculus Rift ($600) or HTC Vive ($800) to come down before they join in on the cutting-edge fun, these attraction-style VR solutions could help propel the burgeoning industry to the $40 billion in revenue by 2020 that some analysts are expecting. And Zero Latency VR looks like one of the best implementations of that yet.
Check out the new trailer that Zero Latency launched this week:
The game has players fighting in a variety of modes. One features waves of zombies inside a simulated building. While their bodies are walking around an empty floor, players feel like they’re walking down hallways and through offices. They also feel like they are with one another since the Zero Latency tracking tech brings the other players’ characters into the simulated space in real-time.
Perhaps most interesting about Zero Latency is that it shows that virtual reality is already tackling many of the concepts of augmented reality. Upcoming devices like the Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap will add digital images to your surroundings to change and alter them. VR is already doing some of that — although it is mostly obscuring the real world and replacing it and only using things like floors, other people, and items like gun controllers.
Whenever HoloLens, Magic Leap, or some other amazing AR device does hit the market, what’s obvious is that companies like Zero Latency and small developers working on HTC Vive right now will already have a strong idea of what will work and what won’t.
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