Alvin Wang Graylin, HTC Vive’s Regional President in China, revealed on Twitter the first Vive VR Cafe opened in Shenzhen last Friday.
Previously, we reported on HTC‘s huge initiative that would have them powering potentially thousands of VR arcades. Rikard Steiber, Viveport President, spoke with us exclusively about the expansion of the VR market in China and VR arcades are one of the most intriguing aspects of their mission.
“The arcade market is a great monetization opportunity for developers,” says Steiber. “The [arcade] model is showing great promise in terms of penetration.”
— Alvin Wang Graylin (@AGraylin) October 21, 2016
The pictures on Graylin’s tweet about the Vive VR Cafe show various spaces tailored to the different types of experiences patrons can tap into. There are small pods that don’t look like they’ll require much movement, large open spaces with barriers to keep players from wandering and potentially injuring themselves, and pods modeled after vehicle cockpits to fully immerse participants in driving games.
Beyond simply being a great initiative for HTC Vive in general, cafe’s such as this will do wonders when making the idea of VR a reality for those still skeptical. It has been noted many times on this site and elsewhere that VR is a tough experience to describe. To fully grasp what one could do in virtual spaces, you must enter that space on your own. As noted in the previous report, this isn’t a program that will only be brought to the Chinese market. Steiber said they were already in talks to bring the arcades to US and Europe so, hopefully, we’ll see the fruits of those conversations manifest soon.