A new unit inside Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is working with various partners to set up virtual reality (VR) arcades in Japan.
Sony’s new unit is the ‘Location-Based Entertainment’ unit which, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, is looking to place PlayStation VR headsets in various entertainment locations throughout Japan.
While the company currently has no plans to open their own centre, SIE are searching for partners within the entertainment sector, including arcades, to be part of a virtual reality (VR) initiative.
Japan has a thriving arcade scene, especially in comparison to places like the US and the UK where videogame arcades have been a dying breed for years. In Japan, there are over 5000 licensed arcades and the arcade industry rakes in 450 billion Yen a year, so it isn’t surprising that Sony wants a piece of the pie. Most of the arcades are run by big game publishers like SEGA, Namco and Taito. So Sony might have to be diplomatic with companies once considered rivals if they want the initiative to go ahead.
Facilities offering VR experiences are becoming more common. With HTC Vive’s Viveport Arcade and the Raw Data arcade initiatives both being launched last year and the Ctrl V arcade centres opening across Canada. VR could mean the rebirth of the arcade in America and Europe, perhaps with Japan leading the way.
VRFocus will keep you updates on new VR Arcade developments.