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- Eklenme Tarihi: 26 Mart 2020 22:16
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Over the previous few years, we’ve seen an array of news posts about how virtual reality was about to save the classic arcade. The theory goes that the VR equipment is too expensive for home users, so it creates an opportunity for operators to pony up the big dollars to buy it and then make their money back by charging a game to play with it. Much Nolan Bushnell, the inventor of Pong, is trying to hype the tech since the industry’s savior.
“While many high-end headsets were released last year that may bring virtual-reality adventures to your living space, adoption of this technology is still in its first days to get a bunch of reasons–it is still bulky, pricey, and there isn’t all that much to do as soon as you’ve got it on your face. Over two million cans were sent worldwide in 2016, according to a quote from market researcher Canalys, yet this figure pales in comparison to the prevalence of, say, video game consoles (earnings of the leading one, Sony’s PS4, topped six million throughout the 2016 holiday season ). Consumer virtual reality will probably catch on as costs come down and cans improve. Meanwhile, though, a variety of businesses are betting that customers could possibly be pleased to pay a much smaller sum to try the technology with their buddies at, say, an arcade, theme park, or even bowling alley.”
It’s tempting to dive into this trap, but from an operator’s standpoint VR is a terrible thing. Operators are being requested to pay top dollar for tech that is all but guaranteed to plummet in value over the very short term. Aside from purchasing a brand new vehicle and driving it a mile, I can’t think of a way you could eliminate money faster between what you pay and what you will be able to get down the road.
Another limitation for most operators is that while you might have the ability to supply a space for VR individuals to roam around in now, as new VR tech is introduced, we are likely to see the point expanded from 100 square feet into the entire world. Instead of viewing just the matches from your headset, you will see the real world with sport play overlayed. Kids can visit the park and relive the knights of the round table or parking garages to take aliens. As the tech allows more real world areas to be explored, it’s going to earn a cramped arcade look pretty feeble in comparison.
VR is already heading for mass market acceptance, but it is demand is not being pushed by players who wish to pay big buck to play with video games, but such as the BETAMAX that came before it, by people who wish to watch porn in their homes.
Even if an operator can make just a bit of money to the upcoming few decades, once VR achieves critical mass, it will crush whatever revenue flow that operators’re dreaming of. Don’t believe me? Just check out what is going on in China.
Last year, an eye popping 35,000 virtual reality arcades opened up in China. A year after 22,000 of these have closed.
This is an incredible failure rate over such a short time period and one that should function as a sharp warning to anyone contemplating investing in the VR games – https://covingtonsimon27.tumblr.com/post/190030229220/4-ways-for-kids-to-play-in-backyard. Perhaps Dave and Busters can afford to take losses over the matches more than Chinese startup arcades, but I doubt most North American operators are going to fare much better with the tech in their match rooms and will just end up in debt at the close of the day.
The problem essentially boils down to consumers not being prepared to pay a premium for the experience. Tech In Asia, clarifies the issue perfectly in their article, on the Chinese VR boom and bust.
“Enterprising store owners leaping into VR are finding it impossible to charge fees akin to cinemas or bowling alleys to get a VR experience. One VR arcade owner told iHeima he saw eager queues when charging US$1.50 for a 30-minute session, but everybody disappeared when it climbed to US$5. From that sort of revenue it is not possible to cover the lease.”
Even if the match was sold out daily, at $1.50 a half hour they are just earning $30 a day.
The real world data flowing in from China should function as a canary in the quarter plantations of North America. Operators who invest large amounts of money on fancy VR setups will probably find their little VR rooms being replaced by the whole world for a stage. Since the setups get more expensive, smaller and more mobile, the digital arcades will look more expensive, bulky and limited.