If you plan on heading to the IAAPA 2017 trade show event the week of November 12th in Orlando, FL, then we’re here to help you have a good idea of what to expect. Companies don’t always unveil everything they have in advance so as to bring a few surprises there but often we get a sneak peek at what will be found at the show.
News out of Bandai Namco this year has been a little slower than usual as the company has shifted their focus towards the possibilities of amusement VR. The setup to make the most waves has been VR Zone, which first opened in Japan, followed by international venues such as London, UK. With IAAPA, we will see their involvement with VR increase as Bandai Namco Amusements America & Europe have become the exclusive distributors for A.I SOLVE‘s We Play VR. It will be at the show along with some additional Bandai Namco products, although they are not pulling the curtain back on those as of this time.
Mayan Adventure / We Play VR
We Play VR itself launched earlier this year as a modular concept that intends to bring Virtual Reality into more out-of-home venues. The setup uses a backpack HTC Vive that is described in full detail via this handy infographic:
Beyond that, the system is built around an enclosure structure that allows for additional effects to be used such as wind, heat, water mist & scent. The floor is also part of the experience, employing a “motion floor designed with built in system supplied with 1sq. meter independently vibrating tiles”. Operators can change out the wall panels to fit with the different themes. The AI Solve website currently lists three games as available for the package: Mayan Adventure, Alien Invasion & Clock Tower; Namco Amusements Europe is currently listing just Mayan Adventure as a part of what they have installed at different locations in the UK.
For more details on that game:
Players search for a lost golden monkey statue hidden within a mysterious Mayan ruin. Guarded by a serpent god, only the bravest players can discover the statue’s secrets, which are buried deep within the game’s passageways.
At first I thought that it might be like the initial demo that I tried with The Void a while back but it sounds like it is more of a arcade style, treasure hunting experience. From the promo video, I was curious if Clock Tower might be related to the game series I remember playing back on the PlayStation but it does not appear to be that; instead, it is another treasure hunting experience.
Namco has confirmed that this will not involve titles from their VR Zone project but they will have more info on VR Zone at IAAPA 2017 along with hands-on with We Play VR there. Speaking of that event, if you look at the exhibitor floor layout, VR will be taking up a prominent space once again. I also noticed that the elusive Magic Leap will be there but I do not know if they will be showing something off for people to actually see & use for a change. It will also be interesting to see if anyone else will be shifting over to AR/MXR as that is starting to get a bit of attention with Windows Mixed Reality, Apple & Android AR becoming available. Which amusement VR setup are you looking forward to finding out more about?