Today at the SVVR Conference & Expo, San Jose, Kenzan Studios has unveiled a brand new virtual reality (VR) ‘playground’ initiative. Set to be known as Kenzan Arena, the project is a collaboration with Noitom which aims to set a new benchmark in both accuracy and latency in three-dimensional space.
Designed for the out-of-home environment, Kenzan Arena is set to offer a variety of videogame experiences that target children, families and adults. The product will be sold into distribution on a franchise basis to shopping malls and leisure centres around the globe, with the first Kenzan Arena playground scheduled to open in late summer 2017 in Zurich Switzerland.
Using Noitom’s motion-tracking technology, Kenzan Arena will adapt large play spaces to the use of full-tracking VR, similar to the experiences currently available with The Void and Zero Latency. Players can touch and manipulate physical objects in the real-world with different implications in the VR experience. The Kenzan Arena will also integrate wind and flight simulators into the different videogames enhance the sense of immersion.
“Kenzan Arena is a place where technology allows everyone to discover extraordinary worlds, in the best possible way. Comfort and safety are of utmost importance. But for me, emotions, beauty and artistry remain non-negotiable values,” says Pascal Montjovent, Director of Creative Research & Development at Kenzan Studios.
Kenzan Studios plan to release new videogames every 12 months, with multiplayer competitions between multiple Kenzan Arena installations bringing eSports to an international scale. At present, four titles have been unveiled for the Kenzan Arena installations:
The Lost Pit VR is a multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS) targeted at adults. In a futuristic colosseum on a planet far away, up to 12 players fight for survival on floating platforms. Two of these players will fly futuristic motorbikes over and under the platforms, using motion-tracked real-world input solutions.
EnigmAttic VR is a videogame created for groups of friends or families. In this mysterious escape room players have to work together to solve puzzles with the aim of transforming from a ghost back to a human being. The room is both virtual and physical, with objects in the real-world replicated in the VR environment.
Holiday Break VR is a single-player videogame created for children and families around every holiday period, be it Halloween, Easter, Christmas or even Valentine’s Day. Points are accumulated and rewards/discounts distributed by the hosting venue – tailored to their holiday offering.
Starpirates VR is a single-player videogame created for children and families in which players find themselves on a futuristic Jule Verne inspired pirate ship, takes with shooting and smashes as many bottles as possible in the allotted time. As with Holiday Break VR points are accumulated that can be used for rewards and discounts by the hosting venue.
For all of the above titles, each Player is equipped with a backpack PC, a head-mounted display (HMD) and a set of controllers or special weapons. These are wireless, free roaming experiences. Depending on the videogame, either Noitom’s motion tracking technology or the HTC Vive platform will be used.
The entry level version of Kenzan Arena is a standard 200 square meter area (2150 sq ft) where up to 12 players can simultaneously participate. Therefore, the recommended space of a Kenzan Arena facility is 400 square meters (4300 sq ft). In addition to the 200 square meter playing area we recommend 100sqm waiting area and 100sqm for reception, coffee area, storage and operations. The minimum ceiling height is 3.5 Meters. On request, Kenzan Arena can be scaled to fit the structural circumstances of the operator’s facility.
Prior to today’s unveiling of the Kenzan Arena franchise, VRFocus met with Kenzan Studios to discuss the project and get hands-on with the videogames set to be offered as part of the package. There’s much more information to come soon, but those in attendance at SVVR Conference & Expo this week can get hands-on with the Kenzan Arena experience themselves.