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May 13, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:57pm

VIRTUAL REALITY ARCADE GAMES SUFFER FROM LOW-END COMPETITION

By CBR Staff Writer

The decision by the founder of Virtuality Plc to focus his management buyout attempt on the low-priced, high-volume end of the headset industry reflects the sad state of virtual reality in the arcade industry. High-end games developer, Greystone Technology Inc, which this month announced plans to develop games using the new Intel coin-op specification, said it is now hard to distinguish between old virtual reality systems and high-end video arcade game systems. Advances in technology have meant that the upper end of the arcade games market is now attainable at a lower price point, said David Klugh, managing director of marketing and sales at Greystone. Virtual reality in the arcades suffered from high customer expectations too. Virtuality had leading edge technology, but there was a disconnect between what is technically feasible and what the customer expected out of VR, said Klugh. He added: It costs a lot to dazzle customers. We were not able to meet customer expectations. In the arcade games industry the game is very much tied in with the hardware, said arcade games developer, WMS Industries Inc. We look at technology on a per game basis and although we can’t say that yes, VR will work, or no, it won’t, we have not found a game that virtual reality will work with, said Patrick Fitzgerald, promotions director at the Chicago-based company. No matter what system, you must have a great game, and that is the same for virtual reality.

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