Virtual reality is generally something people think of being a device one buys, brings into their home, and uses on their own terms. But for Zero Latency, the world’s first VR entertainment facility, opening tomorrow, August 15 in Melbourne, Australia that’s not the case. It aims to be a place where people can come experience VR without spending hundreds on a headset and potentially thousands on a high-end PC.
CNET went to the facility and checked it out ahead of its opening, and it sounds like it delivered quite the enjoyable virtual reality experience. The team behind the facility has spent the last three years working on the technology, and it’s finally ready to roll it out to the masses.
The actual VR headset, which is the backbone of the whole system, is an Oculus Rift DK2, so the team here didn’t have to actually go out and design their own headsets, but the rest of the system is more involved, and it’s what makes this more of an experience.
Using the VR offered here is a little different than running an Oculus DK2 at home. Instead, players get suited up in gear, including a backpack containing an Alienware Alpha PC for rendering the player’s individual view of the world. Players also carry around a weapon to make the experience feel even more real.
Players actually move around the giant 4,300 square foot warehouse with 129 PlayStation Eye cameras tracking their movement through the physical space and translating that into the virtual world. That’s the part that really separates this from the home VR experience — most people don’t have access to that kind of wide open space where they can comfortably move without worrying about tripping.
As far as the game, players will be blasting zombies over a range of locations. CNET reports that by the end they were dripping in sweat and tired from the workout.
Tickets are listed on the company’s website for AUD $88. That will get players about 50 minutes of time in the zombie-infested virtual world with up to 6 players going at once.