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Rocky

Viveport Arcade to bring VR to 'thousands' of real-world locations

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, the arcade team are gathering applications right now and will be in touch. We have an FAQ, but it's basically more developer focused. Getting your questions should help us write a separate FAQ for operators, though, so I'll try and make sure that gets done soon.

 

Where's your location right now? Be interesting to see it! Maybe you could get some customers. :)

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I'm good to go - I'm waiting for the current leaseholder to vacate the premises; then renovate the premises; set up stations; open the doors! I wish it had been that simple to get to this point - in reality it's been headwork. I won't devulge in which UK city centre I'm opening up at the moment in case a competitor from the same city is reading this post and gets a 'heads up'! :)    On course to be open by January - I'll then bombard the internet (and here) about it. Fortunately, being in a city centre location by the main train station I should get noticed locally - whilst having a daughter and son in a local university I'm banking on them to bombard the student boards on my behalf. It's all very exciting but equally as nerve wracking :)

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.

Thanks for responding Stephen.. yes - I realise HTC isn't Steam. I was commenting with their current licensing approach they are unlikely to get me onboard if I have to license every game per PC per month. For just 10 titles on 6 PCs you are looking at £1,800 per month. Ouch!

 

Now I know Viveport will be selling minutes... that's even better than hours! :) Does that mean I'll be able to pre-install the whole viveport library and then customers can use up my minutes in whatever app they fancy? If so that's perfect. 

 

I think Steam suits home purchasers but they havent got their head round site operators yet. I also note Viveport is going more into experiences and educational stuff, not just games. Which I think suits an arcade more. For example - although as a vive onwer Onwards is one of my favourite games, the learning curve for a paying customer means for the 1st hour they'd be like - what - I haven't even done a game yet. Compare that to The Blu, which you can jump straight into but as an owner once you've done all 3 scenes, you are like, er it's nice but I paid £8 for that? But for a one off experience for a customer the dark luminescent scene would be on my "must do" list. Curating the titles and guiding customers is going to be a key part of the success for arcade owners.

 

I've signed up on the posted link - via my business thevrhub.co.uk. Excuse the poor excuse for a website, just wanted to stick something up to prevent cyber squatters once the Ltd company was registered. Got some guys working on a full site - but waiting on property photos and then in game captures taken ourselves to avoid copyright and YouTube T&C issues.  Myself and ctrlvr are in very similar situations - spent loads on kit just waiting to get into the property.  

 

I'm hoping some kind of arcade community develops either on Viveport or hidden behind the scenes. I'm not worried about competition... see it a bit like coffee shop and pubs. Sure you'll have the Starbucks, Wetherspoons (if you're not in uk that's a big brewery chain) and HTC Lands, but that doesn't mean theres not a place for independent owners with their own twist on what makes a good VR centre/experience. I think you are the only person so far in HTC that seems to be making an effort to onboard people like me and Ctrl-VR who are big enough fanboys to chuck cash into it so keep in touch.  I think we both believe the public need to experience what VR has to offer. With a bit of a push and pull (and grabbing them on the street and sticking them in a Gear VR if necessary) I'm sure we can jump start the VR market from a bunch of techies, gamers and early adopters into the hands of everyone.

PS My market research is done I spent the summer doing some outdoor festivals in a tent. Dust nearly killed my PC and the Vive doesn't like string sunlight, but 100% of customers asked is there somewhere to go and play. About 50% - 70% asked what the cost of the setup was first and nearly fainted ;-) I had to force parents into having a go - after they done a paid session for the kids. I said - don't worry about the money - (it was raw data and didnt have a commerical license at the time) so just demoed it to them. I could see the dads were as emotional as I was. Sweating, exhilerated and also relieved to have completed the level and be out! My personal favourite (and why I love the Vive not the Rift), was seeing the immersion go from a look of wonder and awe , and playing with their virtual hands, into the first time they mess up the reload and robots are 3ft away, their face drops into fear. You know you've given them a life changing experience they'll always remember the 1st time they did proper VR.

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 - congrats on all that hard work, let's hope it pays off!

 

Being an ex-pat myself I probably won't be able to drop in too easily but we do have a UK office - I'm sure we could get some people to come take a look around. I have fond memories of the (few!) arcade spaces in the UK, such as in the old Trocadero in London, and the big center in Birmingham (Omega Sektor? I think) which I actually held a 'mini-con' in one year when I was with NCsoft.

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 I'm double checking the minutes/pricing model esp. in regards to accessing 'everything' - probably have an answer tomorrow for you.

 

Your story about VR demoing is exactly what we've seen... it's why HTC is so adamant about getting VR into the hands (and onto the heads) of people. When you experience it, it's like nothing else. :)

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I'd never heard of Omega Sektor somehow missed that - which considering I was working in Brum at the time - and one of the offices I used to visit about once a month was across the street above Snow and Rock. Lessons to be learned there I think.... opened 2007 at a cost of £4m. Closed 2008 with debts of £300k. Ouch! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega_Sektor

 

Start smaller and spend more IF the public catch on. I'm sure every business sound great to the owner... but as the book I've been reading keeps reminding me - who are your customers going to be and how are you going to let them know you are there?

 

One place to check out is Meltdown Bar in London - next week they are running an event with HTC doing eSports in VR. They aren't going for the same market as me - no alcohol in my place, but am interested enough to go and see what they are up to.

 

The other place I know that's open is down in Camden. Virtually Reality. Popped into visit them when I went to the VR/AR show a couple of weeks ago. Closer to what I have in mind, but not as much spent on theming. Though they are now opening more across london. 

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Im in the same boat as  and . I'm opening the first week of december with only 4 "playspaces" to start because i cant afford a good selection of games because of the commercial licence setup. I'd be very open to talking here or elsewhere with anyone else that wants to bounce ideas around.

 

Some general questions,

Is there anyone using their own software to help with the running of an arcade, Like the arcade software of old but VR orientainted .  (In-game ability to call for help, tracking of trends. etc) And have HTC any plans to make something like this??

 

What motion chair are they using in the pictures?

Is there even a rough estemate to when this goes live?

Any plans to change the headstraps for the commercial version at least?

 

 

 

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Hi,
Another potential arcade operator over here. I'm from Poland and I've been planning to open a VR arcade for months now. The thing holding me back so far has been licensing and I can't tell you how excited the Viveport Arcade announcment got me.

I would also like to see some estimates on the prices. I will be applying for a government subsidy for new buisnesses as well as a loan from an NGO that offers low interest loans to small business owners. For both of these I need a proper buisness plan which I actually have already but there's a blank space under 'Licenses' right now. Without at least some estimates I can't start the process at all.

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Welcome  and  - it's fantastic to see your interest (and that we're going worldwide with this). I'm sure you saw me mention this but do sign up at viveportvrarcade.com to ensure you're on our mailing list.

 

I actually got some more info on behalf of  regarding pricing and how the Viveport Arcade model works. He asked...

 

"Does that mean I'll be able to pre-install the whole viveport library and then customers can use up my minutes in whatever app they fancy? If so that's perfect. "

 

The answer is, it's still being finalized in some areas but in general terms - well let me quote the email I got:

 

Operators will be presented with a portfolio of titles to select from through the Viveport Arcade platform. It will be a robust offering of titles but not every title currently available on Viveport. Operators will pre-buy time direct from HTC that they can allocate to customers and usage of each app will be directly tracked back to HTC through the Viveport Arcade system. HTC handles all dealings with developers so it is a turnkey program for an operator to use this self-service content management and distribution platform.

 

So, , in broad terms the answer is yes - customers will be able to use their minutes in any app that's present in the Viveport Arcade library. We're going to strive to have as many apps available as possible in there of course, but as developers have to choose to opt-in and every app is hand-picked for inclusion in Arcade, we won't be able to guarantee every app you see in Viveport today will end up in Arcade. (But we hope it'll be the majority.)

 

For any developers that might be reading, HTC/Viveport will handle all payments to you as well, so from your perspective after your app is in Viveport Arcade... you can sit back and get paid, based on usage across the world in arcades. (VRcades. ;) )

 

Question for all of you: overall, would you like a private forum to discuss this stuff, or are you okay chatting here in public view? I think either could work. I'm open: let me know.

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wrote:

Is there anyone using their own software to help with the running of an arcade, Like the arcade software of old but VR orientainted .  (In-game ability to call for help, tracking of trends. etc) And have HTC any plans to make something like this??

 

What motion chair are they using in the pictures?

Is there even a rough estemate to when this goes live?

Any plans to change the headstraps for the commercial version at least?

 Hey  - that's a great point about the tracking side of things. I don't have insight into that right now but I'll definitely pass on the question. If there's any specific feature list you want to see, please let us know! (I can guess, but you probably have specific ideas.)

 

Motion chair - don't know I'm afraid. I'll see if I can find out.

 

Estimate on going live worldwide - 2017 is all I can say right now (I don't have a more accurate date).

 

No idea about the headstraps; what's your main concern with them?

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