January 10, 2022
Virtual Reality (VR) is rapidly becoming a popular entertainment option. The technology has advanced significantly in the past five years, with a range of prices that can go from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. One question that all operators face when they decide to invest in the exploding new space of VR is whether to choose room-scale VR or arena-scale VR. In this article, we will explore the differences between the two and help you make an informed decision about what is best for your FEC.
Room Scale VR refers to the size of the play area where users can move freely around. A VR headset tethered to a gaming PC and play space that is about 3mx3m (10ft x10ft). With that kind of space, most games use joystick movement or teleportation to move through the game. Arena Scale VR experiences require players to physically move throughout big play spaces, up to even 10mx10m. With the latest standalone VR technology, players only need a headset and controllers. No cables or backpack computers. So movement is just like in real life.
When it comes to experience quality, Arena Scale VR stands out because it offers a multiplayer experience where players are moving around freely in a virtual world with their friends, shooting at each other in competitive games or solving mysteries in another galaxy in escape games. The immersion is just mind-blowing. The movement is natural, so there is no motion sickness, and anyone can quickly understand how to play by putting on the headset. On the other hand, Room Scale VR has thousands of games available, with most of them being destined for at-home usage first. This means that the same games you are offering in your center can be bought and played at home. With VR becoming more and more mainstream, customers can just stay at home. If you just have a Room Scale VR attraction, you're at risk of being the next Blockbusters.
In terms of design, Room Scale games are not thought out to make the experience of an operator's life easy. Arena Scale games, on the other hand, are designed with the operator’s needs first. The games are made to be replayable, competitive, and multiplayer. Levels are designed with duration in mind. This is the main reason why Arena Scale is going to win. It's simple, cheap, and designed with the operator's needs first and then the customer.
The footprint of an attraction is extremely important to keep in mind when you operate an FEC. Arena Scale requires a play area of 5x5m (or 16x16ft) up to 10x10m (or 32x32ft). So of course not everyone's going to have the space available. For Room Scale, the space per booth is around 3x3m or 10ft x 10ft. The advantage here is modularity. They don't have to be next to each other. In a 6x6m space, you can put one VR Arena for four people, or four Room Scale stations. So the footprint is roughly the same. For those who already have Room Scale setup, you can even offer by setting up a VR Arena over the Room Scale Setup.
This is it friends, by now you should be able to decide what's the best VR solution for your business. If you want to try arena scale in your FEC we made a video on the Phenomena VR Arena and our VR Laser Tag game Versus, check it out, you can try it for free in your center, with no fees for your first 5k$ sales.
In conclusion, free-roam VR is the future of VR and offers many advantages over traditional VR experiences. With its natural movement, physical activity, low maintenance, and cost-effectiveness, it's no wonder that free-roam VR is becoming increasingly popular in the eSports industry. If you're interested in driving more sales to your family entertainment center, consider investing in free-roam VR technology to offer your customers an unforgettable and immersive gaming experience.