The 2011 novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is the steppingstone into the concept of modern virtual reality video games and the representation of the same has been vividly captured in the 2018 Steven Spielberg flick. Ever since I saw that movie, I have been wanting to experience what an immersive free-roam virtual reality experience would be like. Also Read - Doom 3 to Fracked: Here are the six Sony PlayStation VR games announced
I tried the PlayStation VR and even the Oculus Rift but even these don’t come close to offering the virtual reality experience that Australian gaming company Zero Latency have with its free-roam gaming VR gaming arena. Microgravity is a location-based entertainment company that offers one of the most advanced Virtual Reality-Augmented Reality (VR-AR) experiences in India and we got to experience the same.
Apart from Zero Latency free-roam gaming experience, the company is also offering its customers an array of immersive virtual reality games like racing, shooting and exploration. It also gets its customers the top-of-the-line projection and simulation technology for golfers. We’ll get to more of that later.
What’s on offer at Microgravity?
VR gaming is all about tingling your visual and auditory senses. When you put that VR headset on you will be in a simulated environment. It’s like the perfect escape for people who are unable to enjoy real-life outdoor adventures and also want to experience the next level of gaming. Microgravity is offering you a slew of VR experience from racing games on rigs that simulate real-life driving experience to 360-degree roller coaster rides.
The headline maker of the arena is Zero Latency’s free-roam VR gaming. Zero Latency already has a setup in Mumbai and this one in Gurugram is its second centre. With Zero Latency, you get a free roam VR experience where you are strapped with an almost 7-kilos HP Z VR gaming backpack and made to move around in a free space that’s 30 square feet and designed specifically for this type of gaming experience. There are gridlines marked all over the arena that are used to navigate players across the room.
Fear you’ll run into the wall or bump into opponents? Not really? You are provided with constant feedback on your VR headset about approaching walls and fellow players so that you have time to avert a collision. Not only that, there is always an attendant present inside the arena to make sure everything goes smoothly.
The gaming experience is truly breathtaking and it’s something I would recommend you to try. To make it feel more real, you also get a dummy gun with pump-action and haptic feedback. So, if you have that fantasy for being in a real-life combat simulation environment, you must experience what Zero Latency has to offer.
This activity isn’t just about shooting. You also get to choose games from genres like adventure and problem-solving games. Each session is 30-minutes long which also includes the 15-minute safety briefing and demo. You can experience it as a solo player and the arena can accommodate up to 8 players in one session.
Apart from VR, there’s also something in-store for people wanting to get into golf as a hobby. Microgravity has partnered with aboutGOLF that offers indoor golf simulators with the use of machine vision to create a realistic experience in the game. You get accurate details down to the dot about how you tee off, ball spin and shot distance. You also get to experience some of the most picturesque golf courses from across the globe with real-time weather and wind simulations. So, if golf is your thing, this experience is sure to help improve your game.
Before you get into experiencing the games you will be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement which is a form of acknowledgement that you are fit enough to experience VR. Trust me, this is not for people with vision problems, vertigo or for the faint-hearted. Also, kids below 12 years are to be under the supervision of a guardian when they are experiencing VR. Microgravity will be opening for the public from the 28th of February in Gurugram. We’ll get you details about the pricing and sessions very soon.
Where is VR gaming headed?
The VR gaming market is expected to be the biggest driver in revenue growth in the next couple of years. With projection in the billions, companies like HTC, HP, Facebook and Sony are pumping in a lot of money to establish a strong base in the VR gaming division. Currently, VR is still a niche market, but a lot of millennials are willing to spend that extra buck for the experience. It is but obvious that VR has potential in other sectors like travel, health, education, automobiles among others but with gaming drawing the most attention, things look exciting for the future of the global gaming industry.
The right time for you to invest in VR?
VR gaming might not have picked up as many experts had predicted but by no means has it hit the bucket yet. The growth in the virtual reality segment has been slow for hardware manufacturers and game developers and the main culprits for this slow pace are the price and complexity of ‘tethered’ headsets.
Regardless of all its virtues, VR is still expensive, cumbersome, space-intensive, and evolving too rapidly to be considered a worthy investment for many people. This is exactly where companies like Microgravity bridge the gap between the availability of VR and its customers. Not to mention bringing the best bits of VR-AR technology to its customers at considerable prices. Mind you, VR and its experience is a pricey affair and you will have to cough up some extra cash if you want THE out-of-this-world experience.