Virtuix Partners With HTC, Announces 'Arizona Sunshine' Integration For Omni

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Jeff Fx

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Jan 2, 2015
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It'll be cooler if they support a treadmill that people can actually buy. Arizona Sunshine is probably good enough to drive hardware sales. It was one of the games I recently demoed for a friend, leading him to buy a gaming PC and a Vive.
 


Ouch. Looks like yet another failed kickstarter. The US shipping costs ended up being $242, which is around three to four times their original $60-$90 estimate, and production costs apparently ended up being around three times their original estimates as well, meaning the device will be well over $1000. They don't even list a price for the main unit on their site anymore, requiring commercial purchasers to contact them, but considering that the harness sells on it's own for $250 plus $20 shipping, and a pair of tracking pods is $150 plus $20 shipping, the ~200 pound platform must have had its price greatly increased as well. The required shoes are also not included with the main package, and are another $100, plus $12 shipping per pair.

On the positive side, they did offer refunds to their backers, plus 3% interest per year. That was apparently paid out of the $8 million or so that they got from other investors though, and I question whether they will manage to keep the company afloat in the long term. Is there really that much of a market for mall and arcade installations? Arcades haven't exactly been thriving the last couple decades, and this is not like the early 90s where people were more willing to pay $20 to experience VR for 10 minutes. These same VR headsets are now available for home users at a relatively obtainable price, and as the cost of VR continues to drop and the install-base grows, fewer and fewer people will be willing to pay a premium just to be able to slide around on a stationary platform for a few minutes, in games they could be playing at home.

Really, for arcade-style installations, I think it would be much more interesting to give people wireless headsets and set them loose as a group in a large room, much like laser tag. That might also be more cost effective, since it wouldn't necessarily require much additional hardware aside from the HMDs and motion controllers, nor would it require as much staff interaction to help people suit up into their multi-point harnesses, and lock them into a platform over a slippery surface. And most importantly, being able to naturally move around a large open environment is not something that can be easily replicated at home. The Virtuix Omni only offers "semi-natural" movement though, and is perhaps better suited to a household environment.
 

t1022k

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Apr 4, 2017
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All the Omni does is make walking in place more comfortable and ergonomic. You're still not propelling yourself forward as you do when actually walking. It's pretty much a waste of space in my opinion. I'd prefer a large room and room-scale with some nice foam flooring over an Omni because you retain one-to-one tracking.

More and more games are beginning to feature run/walk-in-place locomotion as an option for locomotion, and I think this feature in a nice room works very well.
 
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