Location-based virtual reality experiences, despite being pushed to the brink of extinction by COVID-19-related entertainment venue closures, are making a comeback at this year’s Association Gathering International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). Bob Cooney, who is widely regarded as the top location-based VR expert, has released a VR Buyer’s Guide to help attendees navigate the 78 exhibitors showcasing VR products.
First published in 2019, this second edition contains over 50 pages with detailed product reviews, information and forecasts on virtual reality products for family entertainment centers, amusement parks and attractions. The guide includes a cross-reference with specific product recommendations for different entertainment venues including trampoline and adventure parks, go-kart centers, shopping malls, resorts, water parks, bowling centers and cinemas.
In IAAPA’s latest survey of Global Family Entertainment Centers, 52% of respondents had at least one VR game. It was more than any other category of attraction, including more than laser tag or miniature golf, two of the most important entertainment attractions of the past three decades.
Arcade VR games also generated the fifth highest average price per game at $7.60, compared to more than $9 for an hour of trampoline or ropes course, and $8.22 for go-karts and 7 $.86 for the laser tag. Based on a price per minute, virtual reality generates the most revenue compared to other attractions. Most virtual reality experiences are short, lasting between 3 and 7 minutes, compared to the average laser tag game of 15 minutes.
Cooney highlights products featuring HTC’s new VIVE Focus 3 headset. The VIVE Focus 3 is an all-in-one device that eliminates the need for backpacks and external trail cameras. It reviews over 30 products from companies such as HTC VIVE, LAI Games, Raw Thrills, Hologate, Virtuix, VRsenal, Spree Interactive, Valo Motion, Hero Zone, Ballast VR, Creative Works and VAR Live.
“The Focus 3 will quickly become the industry standard headset for location-based virtual reality games and attractions,” Cooney said. “This is the first time we’ve had a helmet designed with the needs of our industry in mind. Operators need hygiene, durability and autonomy, and with a magnesium frame, magnetic face and head pads and interchangeable batteries, the Focus 3 ticks all the boxes.
“VIVE Focus 3 and our location-based software suite were designed based on feedback from our LBE partners and deliver a cutting-edge streaming experience with Wi-Fi 6E. We have actively continued to develop the VIVE Focus ecosystem 3 with physical accessories and software to further unleash the power of virtual reality,” said Shen Ye, Senior Director, Global Product Manager, HTC.
Cooney and HTC will give away a VIVE Focus 3 at the IAAPA conference in Orlando on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET at VRsenal booth #427. Show attendees can scan a QR code at participating booths listed in the buyer’s guide to participate to the gift. The more kiosks they scan, the more chances they have of winning.
The VR Arcade Game Buyer’s Guide is available for free download at www.bobcooney.com/guide. Limited copies will be available at the Orlando County Convention Center at booths including Replay Magazine, Creative Works, VRsenal and other exhibitors.
About Bob Cooney
Bob Cooney is widely considered the leading expert in location-based virtual reality. Cooney is a global speaker, moderator, and futurist covering extended realities and the metaverse. 9X entrepreneur and CEO of Inc. 500, Cooney was a pioneer in immersive entertainment, starting one of the first laser tag companies. He helped launch the first successful VR entertainment companies, Virtuality in 1991 and Global VR in 1999. Since then he has mentored some of the top VR manufacturers and operators over the past 20 years including Zero Latency, Hologate, Virtuix Omni Arena and over a dozen others.
VR Arcade Game Buyer’s Guide
Phone: (949) 439-8643
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