– Special Experiences – VR is a form of entertainment that can let you experience extraordinary moments, and it is now one of the forms of entertainment that is attracting the greatest amount of attention. Spots where you can experience those kinds of VR content are appearing in inner-city areas one after another. And among them, “ride type”, “appreciation type”, and “cooperative sports type” are three trends that have formed. This time, along with introducing the newest spots to experience VR and the newest VR content, we will also consider the course of their evolution.
■93% of Japanese people have yet to experience VR!
According to the Fields Yoka Survey that FRI conducts, the percentage of those surveyed who responded that they had known about VR head mount displays (i.e., VRHMDs) was 45%, and the rate of recognition among male high school students and men in their twenties turns out to be particularly high, at over 70%. On the other hand, the percentage of those who responded that they had experienced VR before was 6.7% overall, which is a considerably low number compared to the rate of recognition. This shows that the VR medium is still in its infancy.
And now, in light of this data, the newest spots to experience VR can be thought of as developing in three directions.
■ride type – Shibuya VR Land by Huis Ten Bosch
The type of VR that targets users who want to enjoy VR content easily or want to relieve daily stress is the “ride type”.
ShibuyaVR Land by Huis Ten Bosch
One of these is Shibuya VR Land by Huis Ten Bosch(Shibuya,Tokyo), which opened on June 24. You can experience five kinds of VR content which are filled with individuality. This includes VR Shinrei Hyaku-monogatari (lit.,VR One Hundred Ghost Stories Abandoned Hospital), in which a sense of immersion only possible with VR leads to fear, and Semarikuru Ai no Sasayaki (lit., Whispers of Imminent Love), in which you can enjoy a romantic experience involving kabe-don (i.e., a hand-to-wall gesture common in romance manga, etc.), and so forth.
VR Shinrei Hyaku-monogatari
Semarikuru Ai no Sasayaki
And then there is Ultra Gyaku Bungee, in which you can enjoy a great jump that is outrageously non-directional, to say the least. After you have jumped back down into the very center of the city, you fly back up to space.
Ultra Gyaku Bungee
A great jump into the very center of the city!
You fly up into space, and the view of Earth from beyond the satellites is beautiful, but then, what happens after this is…!!!
The so-called screaming system that is derived from the thrills of heights resulting these sorts of real images is a current staple of VR. Therefore, in covering this, we did our own decibel survey of the VR screaming system. We made a decibel sensor gauge the voices of players. Those rankings are presented here:
3rd – TOKYO Bullet Flight (SKY CIRCUS Sunshine60 Observatory) 84 decibels
2nd – Jungle Bungee VR (VR PARK TOKYO) 85 decibels
1st – Ultra Gyaku Bungee (Shibuya VR Land by Huis Ten Bosch) 87 decibels
※ Results differ depending on conditions of the experiment.
These turned out to be the results. It is sufficient to say that all three are thrilling.
※※ According to Mr. Ushio from A Dot, which does PR management, Shibuya VR Land by Huis Ten Bosch is positioned as a sort of showroom for Huis Ten Bosch, so there is a hope that it will get people in inner-city areas to know about the attractions of VR and guide users into Huis Ten Bosch’s VR Center (one of Japan’s top VR parks), it seems.
■ride type – SKY CIRCUS Sunshine60 Observatory
SKY CIRCUS Sunshine60 Observatory (Ikebukuro,Tokyo). First, the environment is wonderful, surrounded by a view of 251 meters above sea level. There you can enjoy the three bits of scream system VR content, “TOKYO Bullet Flight”, “Swing Coaster”, and “SKY Escape Fear of Heights Experience”. “TOKYO Bullet Flight”, which is ranked 3rd on the screaming system, is thrilling, but it has been said that the night time version of “Swing Coaster” is thrilling enough to surpass that. (The version we covered was the day time version.)
As for their customer base, although there are many families on Friday, nearly all of their customers on week nights are couples. Additionally, it is replete with entertainment facilities other than their VR facilities.
TOKYO Bullet Flight
TOKYO Bullet Flight Picture
Swing Coaster Picture
Infinity Scape (Kaleido Scape Area)
※※ According to Ms. Hirono from Sunshine Enterprise, originally there were few guests for the viewing platform on rainy days, so they installed their first VR facilities out of hopes of getting guests to come on rainy days. For that reason, even now they have a discount fee for playing on rainy days.
■ride type – VR PARK TOKYO
And another place, which opened in December last year and has been constantly increasing its number of VR attractions since then, is VR PARK TOKYO (Shibuya,Tokyo).
VR PARK TOKYO
Its main customer base is centered on people in their twenties and thirties, and 60 percent of the customers are male, but there is an abundance of different kinds of VR attractions, and best of all, it is replete with two-player VR attractions.
In particular, I recommend “Salomon’s Carpet VR”. In the game, two players ride on a magic carpet and cooperate while going on an adventure through an evil temple in the desert. You can enjoy a sensation that is like wandering off into a different space, and I think there is no doubt that it will feel exciting.
Salomon’s Carpet VR
Two players have an epic battle with a demon!
Jungle Bungee VR
Experience bungee jumping in a wide expanse of nature!
A full-scale driving simulation:T3R
※※ At VR PARK TOKYO, as a measure for attracting customers, they are collaborating and cross-promoting the movie “John Wick: Chapter 2”, and additionally, they are investing in a VR attraction that replicates the world of the “John Wick” movie.
In Part 2, we will present more unique spots to experience VR.
Shibuya VR Land by HUIS TEN BOSCH
SKY CIRCUS Sunshine60 Observatory
VR PARK TOKYO
(※1)[Fields Yoka Survey 2017]
A web survey about topics such as leisure time and values that was administered in December 2016 to people of both sexes all over the country, from kindergarten students to 69 year old men and women.
・How will TV shows change with IoT and VR? First half
・How will TV shows change with IoT and VR? Second half
・”Japanese Amusement Expo” report －3 new trends－ Second half
(Article by: Kenichi Nakamura）
Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.