In Melbourne, Australia, there’s a warehouse where you can freely roam in VR, blasting zombies with friends as a team. Rocking an Oculus Rift DK2 headset, weapon, and gaming PC backpack, you must navigate an abandoned building while you fight off the undead to reach your spaceship and get the hell out of there.
The basketball court sized multiplayer VR arena is called Zero Latency and Sega is bringing it to Tokyo.
The real-life zombie apocalypse experience has only been open for close to 10 months now and has already seen 10,000 participants walk through the Zero Latency warehouse doors.
Thanks to the new partnership between Sega’s amusement park division and Zero Latency, starting July 16th, the VR gaming experience will have a permanent home in Tokyo’s amusement park, Joypolis. The Joypolis arena opening will coincide with the celebration of Sega Live Creation’s 20th anniversary.
The second Zero Latency “arcade” home in Japan is expected to have all new gameplay content, new weapons and an entirely new upgraded motion tracking system. Zero Latency is also making the VR experience shorter, with a competitive point system and 12-minute arcade-style rounds.
“When we first tried the Zero Latency experience we were blown away”, said Kazuhiko Hayami, Sega Live Creation’s Executive Vice President, in a statement. “We knew we were witnessing the birth of a new medium, and we wanted to be involved straight away. We are only at the early stages of understanding what free-roam VR is capable of — it’s one of the most exciting technologies coming to market today.”
The new Sega experience will support teams of up to six people simultaneously and will be scaled up to suit a larger environment at Joypolis. Tim Ruse, Zero Latency’s CEO, told Gizmodo Australia that hardware has significantly changed since they opened in August 2015, with the backpacks being rebuilt using Military Spec components. Zero Latency will also be “rolling out customized HMD’s from Sensics using the OSVR platform,” a departure from their original Rift headsets.
Zero Latency is taking a similar path to VRcade by working with international partners to help setup and operate these VR park-like experiences, instead of trying to scale by building and operating their own arcades.
In addition to the Sega partnership, the company is working on undisclosed deals with companies in the U.S, China, Europe and Australia. Zero Latency will also be releasing two other games in Melbourne: A narrative space station experience that plays with your sense of gravity and a surreal, collaborative puzzle game.
So get ready Tokyo, because next level laser-tag is coming your way.
Image Credit: Zero Latency