Back in the ’80s, before the home console was widely affordable, people gathered around clunky, money-sucking video game cabinets in lieu of the microtransaction-riddled smartphones we carry in our pockets today. Now, with the advent of something as 1980s sci-fi-esque as virtual reality, it’s only fitting that one company wants to revive the arcade.
That company is Starbreeze Studios, developer of critically acclaimed titles like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and PayDay 2, though it’s also working on its own high-end VR headset. And now, it’s opening an arcade too, appropriately dubbed “StarCade,” in Los Angeles during either the spring or summer.
“We continue to iterate the fact that VR really needs to be experienced in person to fully be able to appreciate the phenomenon,” explains CTO Emmanuel Marquez. “We will invite developers to join us and give them the opportunity to put their content in our StarCade. We as an industry continuously need to educate ourselves to make VR truly successful, and this is just the first step in our planning to do so.”
While he may have a point that VR needs to be experienced first-hand in order to be convincing, Marquez may be mistaken that an arcade is the best way to convince skeptics. Someone who’s not interested in VR, for instance, probably wouldn’t want to attend a VR arcade, no matter how admirable the pun in its name. Starbreeze would likely have more success setting up a kiosk at Best Buy or in a mall.
Nevertheless, it’s the thought that counts, and clearly Starbreeze Studios wants people to get their hands on its own contribution to the 2016 virtual reality headset craze in time for the arrival of its The Walking Dead collaboration project with Overkill.
Maybe the StarVR headset, complete with its 210-degree field of view, 5.5-inch panels, and massive 5,120 x 1,440 resolution, could finally stand out to a few more prospective customers given the proper venue.