Despite being commercially available for a few years now, virtuality reality (VR) can still be classified as an emerging technology. In other words, it's still new, prone to rapid advancements, and – too expensive for most people. The HTC Vive, for example, will set you back $799. Sure, it's an incredibly impressive piece of hardware that allows for some astonishingly unique experiences, but that price tag is still way too much for most people. The Taiwanese consumer electronics manufacturer isn't blind to that fact, which is why the company has just announced a plan to bring the future of gaming to more people at a much lower cost. Curiously enough, HTC intends to do that by pairing VR with a much older technology – arcade machines.
In a press release published earlier today, the Taiwanese tech giant implied that its recent Vive VR Café test had been a huge success in China, at least regarding the Viveport Arcade platform. For the uninitiated, the Viveport Arcade is a licensing platform for modern arcade machines which can be equipped with the HTC Vive VR headset. It was originally tested within Vive VR Cafés and is now apparently ready to expand worldwide. The expansion will still start in China and Taiwan with two major titles which have just been announced for the Viveport Arcade – Everest VR and The Brookhaven Experiment.
As the name suggests, Everest VR is a virtual reality experience of climbing Mount Everest. If that doesn't sound exciting enough, The Brookhaven Experiment is an FPS horror game which tasks you with finding out what caused the end of the world and the accompanying zombie apocalypse. Both games boast rather high production qualities and are certainly great titles for showcasing the potential of VR gaming, which is what HTC's latest initiative is all about. The company stated that this new program will encourage VR developers to make "thousands" of new VR arcade games in the next 12 months. While the Viveport Arcade initiative is currently limited to China and Taiwan, latest reports suggest that HTC will soon be expanding it to the US and Europe through franchising. All in all, it seems that arcades are making a stylish comeback. It's debatable whether that will be enough to promote the HTC Vive and VR gaming as a whole, but this is a fairly low-risk endeavor for HTC, so it's understandable that the company is willing to give it a go.