During a recent trip to China to promote Enterprise VR Solutions, I was lucky enough to get a chance check out a brand new VR Arcade in Beijing called SoReal.

If you want to find out more about the background behind it, click the links to the right.

My main objectives were to assess:

  • How it was set up and promoted
  • How popular it was
  • The multi-player wide area VR game
  • The multi-seat VR cinema.
  • Anything else on offer.

General Findings:

  • The first VR entertainment centre in China comprising a void style free-roam area, a 23 Chair cinema, a room scale Oculus experience about the beginning of life and around 6 separate Vive rooms with a number of single or two person FPS/Horror shooting games.
  • Went on a Sunday eve (after 8.30pm) and it was very quiet. Only a few people there.
  • Only been open a month.
  • All Vive experiences used a ceiling mounted wire pulley/track system to keep the wire away from you.

Pros:

  • Great way for people to try high-end collaborative VR with their friends
  • Lots of thought into making the space interesting
  • Custom experiences on the main games tailored to suit the set-up.
  • Custom lens inserts on the Rifts for people with glasses are a good idea, but complicated as they have to stock a lot of combinations.

Cons:

  • A bit of a problem with language as only one person could speak any English so he had to guide me around for the whole time.
  • They wanted me to scan a QR code with my phone that would track the demos I had done, but I could not download the app as Google is blocked!
  • Wanted to ask lots of questions but language was a big problem.
  • Only the standard foam on the Vives so harder to wipe.
  • Need to have instructions on a sheet or screen in different languages.
  • All the experiences were in Mandarin, so it would be nice to be able to select other languages if they plan to cater for tourists.

Void Style Experience:

  • 600 SqM of space for free roaming games
  • Up to 4 people working together
  • Great use of platforms/lifts and walk-ways to limit and re-direct walking
  • Uses an Oculus Rift with ART tracking.
  • Backpack (not big or heavy) for teacher free experience.
  • Custom glasses inserts rather than using people’s own glasses

Pros:

  • Being able to walk around a big area is brilliant
  • Great not needing a controller and just having an actual gun
  • Great not having a tether and just the backpacks.

Cons:

  • Too much cinematic music, not enough sound effects.
  • Not enough AI to feel like the enemy knew where you were.

Cinema Experience:

  • 23 independent moving chairs
  • Uses Oculus Rift with glasses inserts
  • Ceiling mounted fans for extra sensory experience
  • Slightly surreal story all about the history of flight.
  • No controllers.

Pros:

  • Being in a Chair is nice and reduces any fealing of motion sickness.
  • Big chair moves in all directions with rumble.

Cons:

  • Was not aware of the other people and not sure if they can be part of the experience
  • Too much use of 2D 360 video with added CG elements, needs to be all CG.

 

 

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