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VR gaming facility to boost NZ’s tourism

Auckland is set to be home for a new virtual reality gaming facility that is expected to boost New Zealand’s entertainment tourism infrastructure.

Zero Latency virtual reality experience operates in a warehouse scaled venue and allows gamers to move in a large open space freely.

The facility, as part of the Location Based Virtual Reality market is expected to also accelerate the industry to reach $1.5 billion by 2028.

New Zealand will be the 27th international market for the technology as the company works to expand their number of sites across the world.

Since the beginning of Zero Latency in Melbourne eight years ago, Yoland Swasbrook says about 3 million gamers have used the technology and with their new site in New Zealand they expect to accommodate over 10,000 gamers annually.

“While many of New Zealand’s tourism offerings are adventure and nature based, we wanted to expand the number of indoor entertainment venues – helping the country to diversify into more technology-based experiences and broaden its appeal as a gaming destination,” says Swasbrook.

Read more: Couple create NZ’s first VR social game to join the Metaverse

“What we know from the other markets this technology operates in is that wet weather is a significant driver of our traffic volumes and gamers will travel in groups from other cities to these VR facilities.”

Swasbrook adds that the introduction of the site in Auckland will address the gap in the market for late night entertainment for young tourists while also meeting the needs of the domestic gaming market.

“Over 80 percent of people now fall into the category of being a ‘gamer’ and the industry is no longer dominated by males or home-based consoles,” she says.  

“Our demographic data shows the typical player is in the millennial age group and it attracts an equivalent number of both male and female gamers.”

After delays caused by the pandemic, the Zero Latency site is expected to open from March 2023.

“The games are immersive and offer ultra-realistic 5K resolution graphics and 3D spatial audio through HTC VR headsets – and can be played by up to eight players,” says Swasbrook.

“What sets this technology apart is that if you are walking in the game you are walking in real life – so your body and mind are always in sync. The software driving the technology is adaptive to smaller numbers of players and able to scale down the number of enemy combatants faced.”

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