Virtual reality (VR) has had a big impact on the amusement and entertainment industry, changing the way we play games and have immersive experiences. The European Amusement and Games Expo (EAG 2024) recently showcased the latest trends in VR, showing how it’s changing amusement venues.

Leading the VR revolution is Raw Thrills, a developer that has impressed audiences with their amazing VR systems. Their games like ‘King Kong of Skull Island VR’ and ‘Godzilla Kaiju Wars VR’ have pushed the limits of excitement and taken gamers into exciting virtual worlds. What makes Raw Thrills stand out is their use of DPVR (Deepoon) headsets for ‘Godzilla Kaiju Wars VR,’ showing how important high-quality VR hardware is for an immersive experience that leaves players amazed.

While many VR systems use fragile consumer-grade headsets that need frequent repairs, the shift to VR 2.0 has seen DPVR systems become popular in Western locations for entertainment. DPVR’s partnerships in the West have improved the quality and durability of VR experiences in amusement venues, making sure gamers can have a seamless and thrilling adventure.

LAI Games, a well-known maker of entertainment machines, has also joined the VR trend with their VR version of the popular racing game ‘Asphalt 9 Legend Arcade VR.’ This virtual racing experience has captured gamers’ attention, allowing them to feel the excitement of high-speed races in an amusement venue.

In addition to individual VR experiences, VR arenas have become a major trend. These arenas offer free-roaming games, letting players move around in the virtual world. This new concept has become very popular among enthusiasts who want the ultimate immersive experience.

Another exciting development in the VR amusement industry is the introduction of two-seater VR ride systems. LAI Games’ ‘Virtual Rabbids’ is a great example of this trend, offering a shared VR experience that enhances social interaction and fun. Now friends and family can go on thrilling virtual adventures together, creating memories that last.

As the demand for high-quality VR experiences grows, the amusement trade is working on defining unattended (self-operated) VR platforms. The goal is to make sure every guest can have a seamless and hassle-free VR experience at amusement venues, enjoying the magic of virtual reality without any issues.

However, sustaining and supporting VR technology in the long term is a challenge. Consumer-grade VR headsets may not handle continuous use well, so industry professionals are looking for other solutions. One option is HTC’s Focus 4, a non-backpack VR system that could work well for free-roaming games in VR arenas. This shift to more durable and reliable hardware aims to provide a sustainable VR experience that lasts.

The use of XR (Extended Reality) in attractions and amusement parks is a topic of interest. Kevin Williams, an expert in the field, explores this topic in his Virtual Arena column, discussing the advancements, challenges, and opportunities presented by VR in amusement venues. There are endless possibilities for innovation, with the new generation of VR amusement pieces building on past experiences and theories.

Virtual reality has definitely changed how we have fun, blurring the line between the real and virtual world. As VR continues to captivate audiences and push the boundaries of immersive experiences, the amusement industry must adapt and embrace this technology to stay relevant. The future of amusement and gaming lies in VR, promising an exciting journey for operators and enthusiasts alike. Get ready for a thrilling adventure that will take you to new levels of excitement and wonder.