Every magazine and newspaper publisher knows that the only people reading every story in every edition are the proofreaders and the mothers of the people those stories are about. That said, I’m going to ask all of our readers to find the virtual reality stories inside this issue and spend the time reading them. Why? Because it’s important to get up-to-speed on what’s probably the next big thing in what we broadly call “coin-op.”
Notice I didn’t exclude route operators, because there is definitely a place for them there as well, even if it might be branching into a whole new kind of business (arcade, free standing attraction, you name it). The costs going in are coming down. The quality of the experience is going up. Even those thorny problems with headsets are getting ironed out. The clock is ticking.
For sure, only a minority of RePlay’s traditional readership will put time, dollars and imagination into VR until, well, it proves itself some more. But for those entrepreneurs who like to grab the pioneering cream of any such fun and fascinating new business opportunity, the information inside will get you much, much more into the information loop than you were before turning this page.
As VR authority Bob Cooney writes about free roam: “The expensive tracking cameras, heavy backpacks, fragile cables and short-life batteries are gone. They’ve been replaced by all-in-one headsets, reducing the equipment cost per player by as much as 90%.” Further, he says prices of 2-player cabinets, when compared to the cost of a single-player in 2017, represent “a 260% price reduction per player.” Then there’s the appearance of the rugged VIVE Focus 3 headset cable along with a company you may have heard of – Apple – getting into the headset business that says VR is moving ahead faster than anyone thought.
I want to thank Bob and the others like our editors Key Snodgress and Matt Harding who put “word processor” to paper to bring this “save-issue” to our subscribers. Some information may appear a tad biased (this is a business magazine, after all) though on the whole, the message that VR is on track to take a commanding role in public entertainment seems certain. Read on!