Now here's an unexpected bit of news: the Oculus Rift head-mounted display will make an appearance at three Chuck E. Cheese's over the next six weeks. This will just be a test to see if parents buy into letting their kids float around in a virtual world. The first establishment will be in Dallas, Texas, followed by 15 more locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The headset will then be offered in six Orlando, Florida and eight San Diego, California locations.
So what does Chuck E. Cheese's plan to do with the Oculus Rift? The device will be part "Chuck E. Cheese's Virtual Ticket Blaster Experience," which transports kids into a virtual Ticket Blaster with the mouse of the house himself. Standing in a circular booth and donning the HMD, players have thirty seconds to collect as many virtual tickets as they can. These tickets can be converted into real ones and used at the prize counter.
"Kids today have unprecedented access to game consoles and tablets," said Roger Cardinale, president, CEC Entertainment, Inc. "Our challenge is to deliver an experience not available at home, and there is no doubt virtual reality does just that. Oculus Rift technology is the next frontier in the gaming industry, and we're thrilled to be able to say it's part of the Chuck E. Cheese's lineup."
During the six week trial, "Chuck E. Cheese's Virtual Ticket Blaster Experience" will be part of a birthday package, meaning only the birthday boy or girl will get a chance to shoot at tickets using the Oculus Rift. In a video demo, all the kids that used the HMD said that they felt like Chuck E. Cheese was right there with them in the virtual environment, floating in space. That's the typical response from most individuals who use the VR specs.
Using the Oculus Rift at Chuck E. Cheese's was made possible by Dallas-based Reel FX. The company became an early adopter when the Oculus Rift was still a Kickstarter project. Chuck E. Cheese's began working with Reel FX back in 2012, seeking their help to re-imagine Chuck E. Cheese.
"We believe that virtual reality eventually will be as popular as our handheld devices," said Reel FX founder and executive creative director Dale Carman. "It's a game-changer, and we're investing incredible time and talent into developing content for the Oculus Rift."