Things are about to get anime as hell over in Japan, where Bandai Namco just opened a virtual reality amusement center in the heart of Tokyo's Shinjuku district. This is basically a VR theme park, where visitors can come in and experience a variety of mind-blowing, fully-immersive VR experiences based on popular franchises like Dragon Ball and Mario Kart.
Bandai Namco has been steadily expanding into the VR amusement park business according to the Nikkei, opening various parks around Japan. This latest venture, VR Zone Shinjuku, is by far the largest and most ambitious. During a private opening last Wednesday, the curious poured in to try what is undoubtedly the most powerful Dragon Ball VR experience ever conceived.
In this roughly five-minute experience fans will learn how to cast the perfect kamehameha from Goku himself. Pulse waves of power and energy can be felt surging through players hands as they grip the handheld controllers, and the very ground beneath their feat shutters as they unleash the ultimate blast. You may have thought that the image above was quickly tossed together in GIMP, but it's not; that is a real picture of a business man going Super Saiyan in the midst of his Dragon Ball experience.
Mario Kart Comes Alive
Dragon Ball wasn't the only major draw, though. Park visitors also got to try this amazing Mario Kart GT attraction, videos of which have been sweeping the internet. You may have seen it in our article here. The video gives us a small taste of what park-goers are actually experiencing in VR.
As you can see from the image, players aren't seated in a chair or static station; they're in kart-shaped booths powered by hydraulics and gears. You will actually be able to feel when you accelerate, brake, turn, or get hit with an item. If you've ever ridden popular mixed reality rides like Star Tours that incorporate movement like this, you know how powerful the experience can be. Imagine doing this with all of the Nintendo's iconic characters whizzing by you at high speeds, throwing items at you and all around you!
Bandai Namco has other rides in the park, of course, and it's hoping that this new park will give its amusement park business a good boost. Tickets are a little expensive, though. Visitors pay roughly $40 to enter, and that entitles them to four attractions, each lasting about 5-7 minutes. So far reception has been positive.
Would you pay $40 for about 45 minutes of high-end VR gameplay?