I just received the latest issue of Replay Magazine in the mail, and to my surprise, it’s looking like Bowl Expo 2022 is shaping up to be a little more exciting for arcades than I thought it would be. Pre-pandemic, there might be one or two new games showing up that that event but this year we might be seeing as many new pieces shown as we saw at Amusement Expo.
One of the revelations about a new piece came from an ad in Replay about Virtual Rabbids by LAI Games. First released in 2017, this has long held the crown among VR arcade coasters but with competition heating up within the niche, LAI is giving their “Big Ride” a Big Hardware upgrade.
As shown in the ad, there changes include the following, although I did talk with Liam at LAI for some additional details:
- 5K resolution (they are replacing the existing headsets with the newer HTC Vive Pro 2)
- “The latest” nVidia RTX graphics card.
- Next generation D-Box motion hardware
On the graphics card, at first I assumed that might mean that the game would be employing raytacing but as I was told, it’s actually to take advantage of some certain features that RTX cards offer for VR games. I’ve been sort of familiar with RTX but due to the high-end price, I never really researched what all those features are. Still, to get 5K resolution in stereoscopic 3D, it requires some serious horsepower and those RTX cards certainly can do such a job.
The update isn’t adding more ride films but thanks to this new hardware, the existing ones have been modified to take advantage of the features & power. This will be available in a dedicated form and possibly an upgrade kit; Either way a marketing kit will also be offered so that locations can promote it online and in-store.
I’m not sure how many Virtual Rabbids machines are out there but I do have to imagine that they take up a big chunk of the 1000 “unattended VR units” that Betson just announced as selling (that’s cumulative and just through them though – I heard that TrioTech had sold at least 200 of their Storm units; no clue how many King Kong’s have sold overall. Pretty sure Rabbids has sold the most since it’s been out the longest)
I did make a video about this but am doing this post for anyone who prefers to the read the details. If you didn’t catch that already then here you go:
What do you think about this from the info above?