Madame Tussauds wax museum just got a lot spookier. Sony Pictures, The Void and Ivan Reitman (co-creator of Ghostbusters) were on hand for the grand opening of The Ghostbusters Experience, which features Ghostbusters: Dimension, a “hyper reality” experience created by The Void.
We were invited to see the staging ground for the ghost-themed experience earlier this month, and the completed attraction immerses visitors in the world of the new Ghostbusters film. Several wax figures of the movie’s stars are placed throughout the exhibit, with special effects used to produce visible ghost portraits that stare at you, and appearances from staple spooks Sparky and Slimer.
At the end of the tour is the optional Ghostbusters: Dimension VR experience, which brings the dream of being a Ghostbuster to life. Touchscreen panels outside the entrance allow users to login to their personal Void account, which can also be accessed using a mobile app as a sort of “pre-boarding” check in. You can use the app to customize your avatar and see stats from previous visits, and your account can be used for all current and future hyper-reality experiences from The Void.
Last time were we here, James Jensen, CVO of The Void, was vague on the subject of the hardware. Not much has changed in that respect with the debut of the NYC attraction, with the company’s CEO on hand to clarify the hardware set featured in Ghostbusters: Dimension and why it’s so hard to nail down finalized specifications.
Ken Bretschneider, CEO and founder of The Void, explained that the company is constantly researching and developing and upgrading its hardware set, almost as quickly as new technologies are developed. Once a new upgrade or feature is available and ready, it’s deployed. One could also surmise that as a commercial enterprise without a product you can purchase for home use, there isn’t a need to disclose the specifications of something that is being continually updated and rolled out to the company’s live hyper-reality deployments.
The Ghostbusters: Dimension experience features most of the The Void’s proprietary Rapture hardware, including the haptic vest, backtop (the company’s trademarked term for the lightweight custom-designed computer worn on the back) and gun peripheral. It also features a “donning rig” that holds all the equipment and makes getting strapped in easy. Currently, that device is all manual, but the company explained that it will be fully automated in time, with the ability to automatically fit each unique user without any assistance.
The backtop computer used in Ghosbusters: Dimension features a desktop Intel Core i7 processor and a desktop-class Nvidia GTX 980 (they weren’t specific as to whether this is an MXM module, full-sized GPU or some kind of custom integration) with 16 GB of RAM. The company said that the hardware will be upgraded in a few months, with up to 2.5 times the performance of its current setup. This was the most representatives from The Void were willing to share concerning the system components.
The HMD is not technically part of the full Rapture hardware, and The Void was equally undefined about the guts of the headset. The company explained that although the headset resembles the Rapture HMD, the components under the hood are a mix of several different technologies that aren’t considered to be the final product, and that it too would be receiving upgrades in the future.
If we had to guess, judging from our experience (and really, we have to, because the company wouldn’t budge on the specs), it appeared that the current HMD is using a 1080p display, similar to the Oculus DK2. The smooth frame delivery was indicative of at least a 75 Hz refresh rate, judging from my previous VR experiences. Of course, this is all just an educated guess, and until The Void fills the void of technical specs we’ve been searching for, that’s the most we can surmise.
The Ghostbusters Experience and The Void’s Ghosbusters: Dimension hyper-reality experience opens on July 1 at Madame Tussauds in New York City. You can preorder your tickets now at the Madame Tussauds website.