Chuck E. Cheese will feature an Oculus Rift powered game for a short time period in a limited number of locations starting today.
Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that was recently bought by Facebook. Since being created, it is only available in a developer kit form. Consumers have not been able to experience virtual reality gaming. Now, Chuck E. Cheese looks to be the new temporary home to provide early access to children by showing off the tech to a kid on their birthday. A press release by Chuck E. Cheese says Oculus Rift Technology will be use for the game “Chuck E. Cheese’s Virtual Blaster Experience.”
Roger Cardinale, the president of CEC Entertainment, Inc. said their “challenge is to deliver an experience not available at home,” in the press release. “Oculus Rift technology is the next frontier in the gaming industry,” he said.
Real FX, a Dallas company, is working with Chuck E. Cheese to bring the game to the locations. The company made the film “Free Birds” and produces other animated and live-action movies. Founder and Executive Creative Director Dale Carman of Real FX said “virtual reality eventually will be as popular as our handheld devices.”
“It’s a game–changer, and we’re investing incredible time and talent into developing content for the Oculus Rift,” Carman said.
A video on the website shows an example of the game set-up. Kids are places in an area similar to money machine. The money is replaced with tickets and looks to add a small gimmick to the “360–degree head-tracking technology” and 3D view. Participants are shown moving their heads to shoot tickets and another monitor shows Chuck E. Cheese himself instructing the kids.
The game will be included in a “six-week test in the three markets.” A majority of the headset will be in Dallas, starting in 15 Chuck E. Cheeses. Then, it will move to six locations in Orlando and eight in San Diego. Children with reserved parties during this time will be allowed to experience the virtual reality game. However many tickets are shot in the game will be redeemed by the child playing.
Oculus Rift received attention as a Kickstarter company back in 2012. Earlier this year, in March, Facebook bought the company for $2 billion.
Placing the game in the hands of children looks to be a step into creating more commercial awareness of the Virtual Reality technology.