While Sega has often experimented with new technologies in the arcade, Virtual Reality has not really been one of them. They did test out a VR concept in the 90s called TecWar/NetMerc but that was ultimately canceled due in part to production issues with the Model 1 board at the time. This past IAAPA however, Sega finally took the plunge with their first VR arcade piece, VR Agent. As of now, the game is officially in production, meaning that ordered units will soon be in arcade locations interested in adding one to their location.
If this is the first time you’ve heard about the game, let me provide some background. It was developed by 3MindWave, a developer out of China who previously created ATV Slam for Sega. Also as you can see above, it comes with two player stations, and operators can link two units together for 4-person play. The game itself is a first-person shooter, where the player uses a unique hybrid light-gun/VR headset. This was designed to work without an attendant, with the gun lowering into position after a credit has been inserted. Here’s an earlier build of the game as seen at IAAPA 2021:
In the email sent out today, it also revealed a couple of other details. 1st, it has a family-friendly mode that changes the enemies to robots instead of people (in the biz, they used to call this Red Label and Yellow Label modes, referring to the arcade rating system on violence). It mildly surprised me to see blood splatter in a modern arcade game, since that sort of thing is uncommon these days. They also said in the email that it uses 50″ displays for those watching to see what is going on. Here’s an image from the email showing the game on the production line:
I had seen a price for this a couple of months back where it was around $35k, but that might have changed, and there are always variances between distributors. Still, for VR arcade games, that’s pretty competitive given where other games cost right now. As for where you’ll find it, that’s always hard to say but it is a piece made for FECs that can afford such things, so we’ll have to see if the likes of Dave & Busters and Round1USA add this to their selections.
What do you think about this new exclusive entry into arcades?
Hmm… seems a hell of a lot of money for the unit. I’d be interested to see what the actual VR element adds to what could be just a standard shooter. Wonder if any will make their way over to the UK? Thanks James
That’s actually kind of cheap among VR arcade machines – some of it’s competitors easily cost $15-20k more; If you’re talking the VRsenal games or Hologate, then it’s more like $40-70k difference.
Yes you should be able to find them in the UK, assuming a local arcade buys one. I believe most of the manufacturing is taking place right there 🙂