VRLA This Weekend Showcases The Latest In Immersive Entertainment

by Ian Hamilton • May 4th, 2018

One of the industry’s largest VR-focused conferences is back today and tomorrow.

Over the last few years VRLA grew from a small meetup showcasing individual creators and startups to a large multi-day event at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Its main attraction is a show floor which opens at noon both Friday and Saturday featuring booths from a long list of exhibitors including Microsoft and Intel, as well as an enormous installation from Exit Reality and Neurogaming (the featured image is a concept rendering of their booth).

On site, Saturday-only tickets should be around $50 while two-day tickets are more than $300. Saturday is likely to have longer lines and those can get extremely lengthy for the more interesting VR/AR experiences. Organizers appear to have pulled together a nice collection of exhibitors offering a good look at what is possible with VR in 2018 both at home and at arcades.

What To Look For At VRLA

As of this writing, Beat Saber is the most highly rated game on Steam and Microsoft is expected to show the game paired with VR headsets at its booth. So attendees maybe be able to try one of VR’s newest and most enjoyable games on some of the easiest-to-setup VR hardware on the market.

With Neurogaming, attendees could get a glimpse at what’s possible at high-end VR arcades and attractions. I’ve tried both Neurogaming’s World of Tanks multiplayer game and the high-end fully wireless free-roaming system. Based on that experience, if you are heading to VRLA I’d recommend trying for this one early as I suspect it’ll be in high demand. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition, there’s a scanning truck with 200 cameras inside as well as a pair of AR projects — a zombie maze and an episodic comedy. There’s also what sounds like an eye-catching installation called MEZO (pictured above) described as: “an alternative future where Mesoamerican societies have thrived and become technologically advanced. A 20-foot futuristic temple will tower over the VRLA show floor, fully equipped with LED panels, lasers, spatial music and an AR experience that transports attendees to a cyborg Amazon forest. In tandem, live performers will interpret Mesoamerican-styled dance around the temple, resulting in a visually and sonically stunning journey through destruction, creation and rebirth.”

Friday at VRLA is geared toward professionals. It starts at 10 am with remarks by organizer Jonnie Ross and presentations from The VOID, Qualcomm, Microsoft and others followed by a full schedule of panels.

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