VR may well bring back the arcade. With in-home systems currently expensive and limited in what they can offer, dedicated spaces that allow for wider tracking and perhaps even local multiplayer at a fraction of the cost of buying an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive look to be a great way to get a taste of the experience. Companies like Starbreeze and others are counting on this potential new market.
Looking back over the history of arcades, though, we’d love to see VR do something else. Some of the best cabinets over the past few decades have had us taking up arms, stepping into the cockpit and more. They have input systems tailored specifically to the experience they offer. In VR, then, they could be perfectly immersive. Below, we’ve listed 7 machines we’d love to use with a VR headset.
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Light gun games, arguably the most popular of which being the Time Crisis series, put you in the FPS action like never before. With that iconic grey gun in hand, you could use positional tracking to duck behind cover and then pop out to take shots like a pro. Apply that idea to the likes of Virtua Cop and House of the Dead and there’s an entire genre we’d love to revisit in VR.
Star Wars Pod Racer Deluxe
For our own mental well-being the only thing we remember about the first Star Wars prequel was the pod racing. It was ripe for a game adaption, and there was indeed the excellent N64 game for us to take home, but the real fun was to be had in the arcades. A faithful replication of Anakin Skywalker’s racer really put you in the action. With VR you could travel to exotic worlds to take part in those intense, ferocious competitions. Now that would be pod racing.
Silent Scope isn’t your traditional light gun game, thus deserves special recognition. Here you step into the sniper’s nest with a full peripheral that lets you aim through the scope. Taking that into VR and holding the gun itself as you lean in to take your shot would give you the feeling of being a professional killer. The series recently took a futuristic shift too, which we’d love to step into.
Mario Kart Arcade
Sure, we could give you any great arcade racer here. Daytona in VR? Gold. But to climb into one of the karts from Mario’s racing series and toss out green shells at our friends would be amazing. Imagine lining up alongside Bowser as you drift around the corner, then pulling in front and dropping a banana peel in his path, checking a wing mirror to see him spin out of control. Perfect.
Dance Dance Revolution
The party’s happening. You step into the night club, and everyone notices your entrance. The floor clears as people make space for you to strut your stuff. In VR, dancing games can make you feel like you’re in the real thing, not simply practising for next Friday night. Ubisoft might give us a taste of this with Just Dance VR, but a full dance matt-based game would be great to see too.
Densha de Go!
I played Densha de Go! once on a trip to Japan. I had no idea what I was doing but I turned everything up to as high as it would go and I failed in 30 seconds. It was brilliant. I want to use VR to step into the driver’s seat for real and continue my mad conquest of driving trains to fast and ignoring platforms with the help of authentic controls. It’s wonderful.
Manx TT Super Bike
Most driving arcade games give you a seat, Manx TT Super Bike gives you your entire vehicle. Instead of simply steering around a track, here you can actually lean into corners to give yourself the edge. Considering this type of sport practically demands a helmet, VR’s restricted field of view would actually add to the immersion.