In the good ole’ days, two players could walk up to an arcade shooter, coin it up and blast away at zombies side-by-side. With a new deal from one of the biggest names in games and an innovative VR startup, that idea has been expanded to vast new proportions. Sega Live Creation along with a company called Zero Latency, have just agreed to launch a multi-player, free-roaming VR experience in the heart of Tokyo this summer.
In a space the size of a basketball court at the Tokyo Joypolis amusement park, up to six players will be able to enjoy a series of different VR games simultaneously, working together to keep from being overrun.
“Inviting customers to experience warehouse-scale free-roam VR in Japan, together with one of the world’s most iconic entertainment brands. is a dream come true,” said Tim Ruse, Zero Latency’s CEO. “We’re excited about this project, and also about the future of our partnership,” he added. (As creators of the super-successful House of the Dead coin-op franchise, Sega knows its zombies!)
This is one of the first real examples of free-roam virtual reality (FRVR) that takes a physical environment and amplifies it within the headset to turn it into a fantastical entertainment space. It allows for something that will likely remain impossible for the home VR user for some time, simply because of space restrictions and lack of equipment.
“When we first tried the Zero Latency experience, we were blown away” said Kazuhiko Hayami, Sega Live Creation’s Executive V.P. “We knew we were witnessing the birth of a new medium, and we wanted to be involved straight away. “We are only at the early stages of understanding what free-roam VR is capable of,” he added. “It’s one of the most exciting technologies coming to market today.”