Do you consider yourself to be a gamer? If so, we are sure you’re already familiar with the famous Italian plumber who enjoys racing around in colourful karts. Yes, of course, we’re talking about none other than Mario (マリオ)! Bandai Namco (バンダイナムコ) has recently announced that they are going to establish a new VR (virtual reality) arcade in Tokyo (東京). One of the biggest highlights of the arcade zone will be the Mario Kart VR.
Short answer: Very immersive. You will feel like you’re actually in the game. At least, that’s the impression we get from the teasers. Players have to sit inside a metallic rig that looks pretty close to the actual Mario kart. There’s a steering wheel that can be used to control the kart.
Vive trackers strapped to the player’s hands, enable them to shoot shells as weapons by merely making a motion in the air. The sensors and gadgets are all minimal and non-intrusive, making the whole experience even more appealing.
As part of Project i Can, Bandai Namco will be establishing a 40,000 sq. feet VR arcade zone in Shinjuku (新宿) – the entertainment ward of Tokyo. It’s scheduled to open on July 14, 2017.
There will be more than 10 activities available at the VR arcade zone. Sources say that the zone will offer games including Despair Jungle and The Soul of the Soul along with the other famous titles like Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell and even – wait for it – Dragon Ball Z (ドラゴンボールZ)! No, this isn’t a dream. What’s more, every game can be played with its own customised equipment.
HTC Vive VR headsets and a number of powerful motion sensors are put together in a way that will make you forgot the outside world altogether. Every single game transforms you to a different dimension through their elaborate set-ups and gameplay. The Mario Kart VR game puts you in a racing rig, The Soul of the Soul – a spaceship game – will make you sit in a cockpit like chair, Despair Jungle will put you on a treadmill and make you burn your calories while you run away from dinosaurs.
The famous titles have even more realism. Dragon Ball Z has a spacious set up that lets you comfortably turn your wrist when you fire a Kamehameha (かめはめ波) attack. Not only that, there’s also a multiplayer mode in the VR Dragon Ball Z game, so you can play against your friends.
The exact costs aren’t officially known yet but the approximate price range will be about ¥1,000 – ¥3,000. For a one-of-a-kind, unique experience, whatever the cost may be, we’re sure it will be totally worth it.
Will there be more such arcade zones around Japan? Or even around the world? For now, this unique VR zone has only been confirmed in Tokyo. But don’t be disheartened yet! Bandai Namco has mentioned that they have plans to establish more in Japan as well as overseas. So, if you’re like us and cannot wait for one to open in a city near you, make sure you’re in Tokyo from July 2017 to experience it first hand.