We’ve seen VR gaming get bigger, better and more exciting each year. We’ve also seen it become more accessible with game centres now offering paying customers access to powerful headsets and state-of-the-art VR systems that were once available only for those who could afford to pay top dollar.
However, if you’re new to this world and have yet to taste your first virtual reality immersive experience, it can be tricky to know where to start.
So, if you’ve been invited to a VR game event and need to get clued up quickly, or are thinking about booking one yourself for you and your friends and want to fill in some gaps in your knowledge, we’ve outlined the basics of VR gaming and what you need to know before your first session at our virtual reality game park in Dubai.
What is Virtual Reality Anyway?
The term Virtual Reality (VR) has become a generic term for content that can be played by digital devices, such as HMDs (head-mounted displays) or smartphones (mobile VR). This could be a film recorded with a 360-degree camera, or in the case of VR gaming, an interactive 3D simulation of gameplay that allows users to immerse themselves in what’s happening.
Virtual reality gaming allows you to literally step into the world of the game. Instead of a controller, you use your whole body to navigate while your headset tracks your position and movements, letting you interact with the space around you.
Gaming – The Driving Force behind VR
Most people’s introduction to virtual reality has been via video games. It has undoubtedly been a major driving force behind developments in VR in technology and software. And even though the gear is still more than your average gamer can afford, it’s by far the most accessible way to consume VR content and experience the technology.
However, spending large sums of money on VR products and supported hardware is not the only option for people who want to try VR gaming. As we move into a new phase, with new venues like our own opening up, there are now so many more possibilities available for people to experience the best that this industry has to offer. New titles are constantly coming to market and the demand for VR games is high and rising.
How to Play VR Games
As VR gaming requires high-quality graphics and motion tracking, you will need a reasonably powerful gaming PC or console to run VR games properly. You will also need a VR headset, which is the primary conduit through which you’ll be able to do all the great VR-related things you’ve heard about. Here’s a list of the best VR headsets now available.
- HTC Vive
- Oculus Rift
- Samsung Gear VR (Oculus Mobile SDK)
- Google Cardboard (Google VR SDK)
- Google Daydream (Google VR SDK)
Some of these headsets will be more suited to casual at-home play, while others will be robust enough to handle the kind of arena-scale location-based gaming that we offer at the Arena Games.
Room Scale VR vs. Seated/Standing VR
There are two main types of VR. If you’re buying a headset for use at home, you’ll most likely be experiencing ‘seated VR’ or ‘standing VR gaming’. This is because of the space restrictions that most people face at home, as well as the need for various systems to be linked to your console with wires.
However, room-scale VR (or arena scale VR) is a virtual reality experience that lets you take advantage of a large warehouse-scale room. Compared to seated or standing options, room-scale VR is more immersive because of the freedom it allows players to move and experience the world of the game without being limited by walls or cables.
Room-scale, also known as free-roaming, or wireless free-roaming VR, also offers the benefit of being perfectly suited for multiplayer action. With most at-home VR headsets, you’ll only be able to play with your friends remotely. However, a VR game park that offers room-scale gaming will let you and your friends enjoy the game together — all while hearing each other shout, scream and laugh in the very same room.
Why Are VR Game Parks Better?
Depending on how deep your pockets are, it’s possible to create a pretty amazing VR setup at home. However, for most people, you’ll need to visit a purpose-built venue to experience good VR gaming experiences.
It’s a little like visiting a cinema versus setting up a home cinema. If you invest enough money into your own system, you can build something pretty spectacular. However, if you’re not prepared to do this, or if you simply prefer experiencing things with others, then going to a purpose-built venue really is the best option.
When you visit a venue that is specially designed for full body free-roaming gameplay and gives you access to the very best virtual reality gear, you’ll be tapping into the full potential of VR gaming. The game simulations are really brought to life with motion sensors, high-quality sound, and as much space as you could possibly need. And this really takes the experience to another level.
To get the full experience, VR needs sight, sound and motion. And an arena scale VR game venue lets you achieve all of this.
What Is Zero Latency?
Through its games and VR systems, Zero Latency is intent on changing the world of VR gaming and bringing the sheer enjoyment of it all to more people.
Having Launched several venues across the world, including throughout Australia, the UK, the US and the Middle East, it is leveraging its state-of-the-art systems and custom-built gear to create the most immersive VR experiences people have ever had the chance of enjoying.
Right here in Dubai, the Arena Games uses Zero Latency tech and gear to offer free-roam multiplayer VR for groups of up to 8 players who can take part in co-operative and competitive games, fully immersing you in the action and giving you unrivalled opportunities to explore other worlds.
We see all kinds of people step through our doors at Arena Games Dubai. Some with a good amount of VR gaming knowledge and experience and some without a single clue about how it all works. Regardless, the vast majority of people go away thinking “wow”.
If you’re new to this world and are on the fence about coming, we say, just do it – you won’t regret it. Whether it turns into a long-term hobby or simply gives you a good story to tell, we believe VR gaming experiences should be tried by everyone, no matter their age, gender, interests or past gaming experience.