75 VR Attractions Vie For Attention At Amusement Show
Now over 100 years old, the International Association for the Attractions Industry (everything from the major theme parks to local arcades) concluded its sprawling annual expo and conference in Orlando. This year’s edition was the largest ever, with over 26,000 registered buyers, 42,000 attendees, and 1,146 exhibitors. According to the latest IAAPA Global Theme and Amusement Park Outlook Report (2019-2023), theme and amusement parks worldwide are expected to entertain more than 1.16 billion people in 2019 and generate $52 billion in revenue.
Last year we talked about over sixty attractions, from simple driving simulators to free roam VR arenas that can command over two hundred thousand dollars. This year there was more, seventy-five at one count, and a dozen that use some other form of XR (AR, projection mapping). By way of organizing this massive number of VR experiences, we’re going to divide the pack into three groups, which we will treat in three posts: “The Best” (part one, below), “LBVR Enclosures” (part two), and “Vehicle Simulations, VR Coasters & Other XR Surprises” (part three). This last group includes vehicle and sports simulators that do not use HMDs, which begs the question: if an immersive simulation doesn’t use a headset, is it VR?
The classic four player enclosure pioneered by Hologate. Players have been traditionally (not shown … [+] here) wired but the trend is wireless.
Four player enclosures dominated the VR offerings and demanded its own section (more on these tomorrow). These are small footprint systems that rely