While the focus of the blog here is on arcade news and opinion, it’s not just about new releases and locations. The technology that can be adapted for out-of-home entertainment/amusement is just as interesting to note since our format of gaming can often make use of the new and/or the odd to create new gaming experiences with before the consumer side can. That said, we haven’t seen quite as much use of cutting edge tech in arcades in recent times. There have been occasional items with the Star Wars Battle Pod but only this month are we seeing the first standard arcade game launch with a 4K display (Cosmotrons).
Back at the end of 2016, we ran an article about a new volumetric 3D display called the Voxiebox that was bringing holograms to life in a way that wasn’t “cheating” like the Holossuem or Crazy Tower does it. At the time, the developers were in discussions about bringing this to the amusement industry although that would be dependent upon interested parties, as well as providing the display in a larger format with a higher frame rate.
While I’ve not seen an update on the tech specs nor heard if any amusement game maker is actively looking into creating a game using this kind of display, Voxon Photonics has released their product for commercial use. They also sent out a newsletter to celebrate Star Wars Day, thanks to Star Wars itself providing heavy inspiration for the kind of holography that they are doing. To quote the newsletter where this info came along:
We have now shipped multiple units of the Voxon VX1 to more than 10 different countries and have added countless features and improvements to the VX1 software. Our Unity plugin and simulator is now working extremely well, we have added some enhanced colour modes to the VX1 software and additional DICOM features to allow medical professionals to measure both distance and angles within the display volume.
Here’s their Star Wars Day video that shows the Voxon VX1 in action. While everyone is thinking about Star Wars, when I see what they’ve done here the first thing that popped into my head was how this would be incredibly useful for Sega’s ZAXXON. Judging the height of your craft was always a bit of a pain in that one. Anyways:
Here’s a tech demo of the hardware that gets into more detail about how it operates. The frame rate doesn’t look like it’s at 60 but that could be due to the camera, how the video was rendered or the settings of the unit depending on what it is rendering itself (it might be one of the former two as in this video below, hand movement appears to be slower than natural). I do recall that it could provide more detail for monochrome objects than color; either way, it’s an impressive effect:
You can read more about Voxon Photonics here; what kind of arcade games would would you like to see made with this kind of display technology?