If you can't afford an expensive virtual reality headset, you'll soon be able to experience VR video games when Survios Virtual Reality Arcade opens at the Del Amo Fashion Center, Friday Feb. 9.
The grand opening is the company's first physical location after years as a leading software distributor.
The Survios Virtual Reality Arcade, in an industrial-style shop of less than 3,000 square feet, offers 11 glass-enclosed booths where users don a high-tech, head-mounted display that’s worn like a helmet to participate in the video game that’s projected on a large, life-size projection screen. The best experiences come from the intense, multi-player games that provide a workout as players interact with the virtual world around them. A single player or a group can battle in every sort of game from dodge ball to a kinetic race against time in the game “Sprint Vector.”
Home users need a high-powered $2,000 laptop plus the helmet, which can run about $600 for a top model. In contrast, the Survios arcade offers a 15-minute experience for as little as $9.
Spectators can watch the action at any time, according to Ben Kim, CFO and VP of Business Development for Survios, who met recently at the location for a demonstration.
“One of the misconceptions about virtual reality is that it is very isolating,” Kim said. “You get the interaction with the environment, but also with the people playing in the bay next to you ... that's what Survio takes in account whenever we're developing anything. We want to ensure you have a social experience that's elevated.”
The virtual reality games and the arcade at Survios is about immersion. When players put on helmets, they are surrounded by the game's stimuli, from images to sound. “Positional tracking” is used to put the player inside an avatar, or virtual body, as in “Sprint Vector,” where the player's entire body becomes one with the avatar.
“You can gaze around and see the environment that you're supposed to be in,” Kim said. “In this particular experience (“Sprint Vector”) you'll actually be able to move, duck, dodge, jump from one spot to another and really elevate the sense of immersion.”
Los Angeles-based Survios was founded in 2013 and is best known for the virtual reality game “Raw Data.” In 2018, they plan to introduce “Electronauts," which lets users remix and compose tracks while wearing a virtual reality headset.
Survios is located at 3525 W. Carson St., at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance.
For more information, visit survios.com.
—Nick Green contributed