VirZOOM Inc., the creators of the exercise-bike-esque VR peripheral, announced that it will be releasing a developer kit, complete with an SDK that will help developers add VirZOOM support to their VR games, or create VirZOOM-exclusive content.
VirZOOM is a VR controller that you ride like an exercise bike, which we had a chance to take a look at in December. The VirZOOM is used to control your motion inside of VR games. The faster you pedal, the faster you move in the virtual experience. VirZoom said that the VirZOOM controller allows you to move fast in virtual worlds without any discomfort. The company said that your inner ear accepts that you aren’t just sitting or standing in place while using it, so you shouldn’t feel uneasy while riding the VirZOOM.
Beyond offering a bit of exercise while gaming, VirZOOM said the “motion controls based on the VZ SDK vastly increase the range of world and game design options for VR game developers.”
The VZ SDK will work with Unity or Unreal engine. The peripheral is compatible with the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and even the Playstation VR. The company also announced plans to include support for mobile VR solutions, such as Gear VR, via Bluetooth pairing.
VirZOOM will be at GDC next week showing off two new games built specifically for the VirZOOM controller: Apache and Lord of Tanks.
“The dev team keeps coming up with new greats but my current favorite VirZOOM game is Apache. You power a heavily-gunned Apache helicopter up-river and shoot to defend against turret fire while picking up fuel you need to keep going. Nuclear cooling towers and mountainous terrain give you just enough cover to survive once you master the basics. You steer and dive by leaning. Pedaling keeps you air born. The VZ motion controls that make this game and all our games exciting yet comfortable are now available to independent developers for free with our easy-to-use VZ SDK as part of the VirZOOM Game System Development Kit,” said Eric Janszen, Co-Founder and CEO, VirZOOM.
The VirZOOM is already available for pre-order, and you can snag one for $399.95. The hardware doesn’t have a concrete release date, but the company expects to ship in Q2.
VirZOOM's press release is a little unclear about the SDK release time frame. We've reached out to the company to confirm if the software is available now, or in Q2 when the hardware ships.