At last weeks Connect 5 event Oculus unveiled their latest edition to the Oculus family called Oculus Quest. Last years announcement was the Oculus Go. It was released this year. Subsequently the Oculus Quest will be release in the spring of 2019. It is more powerful then the Go. More portable then the Oculus Rift. And for me the most interesting feature is their demo of so called Arena scale gaming.
Arena scale gaming means multi-player gaming in a closed arena. Check out the cool video that our friends at UploadVR made. The Oculus Quest is a fully contained system, with computer, optics, tracking and two functional “hands”. Setting them up so two or more players can play games against each other becomes possible. Setting up multiple Oculus Rift installation requires massive amounts of cables, hardware and setup/tracking headaches. With the Oculus Quest none of this is needed. The freedom of playing a game that mixes both physical closeness with a virtual environment sounds very exciting to me.
The title they showed this off with was “Dead and Buried”, a Wild West(world) game that allows multi-payers to have a saloon brawl. Although this is not a new concept, it was pioneered by The Void, this puts the price tag for creating such an experience a lot lower. My guess has always been that laser quest arenas would be ideal for this kind of setup. They already often have a physical maze. And as these are similar experiences it would be a natural extension of their business model. So far I have not seen any conversions of extensions to this kind of experience. I expect them in the coming years, and perhaps based on the Oculus Quest.