Keeping an eye on the coin-op gaming scene
Sega has already dabbled with PlayStation VR at its Tokyo Joypolis centres, but now it’s committing to something more permanent through a collaboration between subsidiary Sega Live Creation and Melbourne startup Zero Latency. The two companies plan to build a permanent ‘warehouse-sized virtual reality centre’ in Tokyo in which players can run about blasting fantastical creatures. Zero Latency’s tech recalls Sony’s PSVR hardware through the illuminated coloured spheres, mounted to headsets and guns, that it uses for tracking, but the kit was actually co-developed with a military contractor to ensure it will be rugged enough to endure a situation involving over-excited men running about in the dark.
Players wear a backpack containing the PC needed to drive everything (and minimise tripping hazards). A zombie survival game is already planned, predictably, as well as an unspecified pointscoring challenge, and players can tackle the games alone or in teams. Zero Latency is considering what it calls “out-of-body haptics” to let players feel heat and smell particular aromas. Sega isn’t making games for the launch, but Zero Latency plans to make its SDK available to thirdparties in the near future. There’s no firm launch date yet, but the tech is already up and running at Zero Latency’s own arcade in its home city of Melbourne, Australia.