What is Zero Latency?
If you call yourself a hardcore gamer and are not living in a no internet zone, then you’ll surely have heard of the immensely hyped up (but with good reasons) virtual entertainment center called The Void.
However, while The Void was hogging all the fame and press earlier last year, Zero Latency VR has been toiling endlessly away in the dark to set up its virtual reality entertainment center. Now that Zero Latency is open to the public, this makes it the first virtual reality entertainment center in the world!
Zero Latency provides the world’s first multiplayer free-roam virtual reality experience to the general public. Located exclusively in Melbourne, the center offers a whopping 400 square meters of physical game space in which you’ll be free to move around. While you’re in-game though, the space will feel a lot larger due to the systems embedded in the games that allow the software to reuse the space available.
Due to its exclusivity, getting a ticket to enjoy Zero Latency isn’t exactly cheap. But for a once-or-twice-in-a-lifetime, fully immersive, virtual reality experience, the AUD$88 ticket is very well worth it. Each player with a ticket is given around 50 minutes of in-game time and that doesn’t include the time needed to suit up. Suiting up here means that you’ll need to put on a nifty backpack containing a powerful Alienware computer as well as the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD).
In addition to the headset and the backpack, you’ll also be given a uniquely designed prop gun. Amazingly, the prop gun is no mere Styrofoam or plastic-made gun. It is loaded with electronics that allows you to choose from 3 switchable shooting modes, namely the assault, shotgun and sniper mode, depending on the in-game situation. The assault mode will transform your weapon into an awesome grenade launcher which is perfect for dealing with large groups of enemies. However, you should know that ammo is limited in Zero Latency, so don’t waste them.
The next mode is the shotgun mode. In this mode, your weapon will be turned into a pump action shotgun that allows you to go up close and personal with the enemy before blowing their brains out. Shotguns can be rather over-powered at close range since you can kill an enemy with a single shot and you don’t even need to aim for the head, but of course, once some distance is introduced, your chances of missing your target will increase drastically. The last mode – the sniper mode – allows you to pop out the scope on your weapon and kill things at a range.
Furthermore, similar to the weapons you’ve used while playing shooter games, you’ll have the option to reload your weapon. It’s amazing that Zero Latency made even the reloading process as realistic as possible – you’ll actually be able to see the clip drop away though you won’t be able to slam a new clip in yourself. There are also sound effects that accompany the reloading process, making it even more immersive. Zero Latency also keeps track of your high score and various in-game stats. If you’re good enough, you might just make it to the top 5 of the leaderboard and well, the bragging rights are now all yours!
What about the “motion sickness” problem that your previous article on virtual reality mentioned, you may wonder… well, this is one of the problems that Zero Latency has managed to successfully address. According to their tests, only 1 player from the 400 lucky beta-testers for Zero Latency has experienced motion sickness. That’s an incredibly low percentage (0.25% to be precise) of you getting sick while playing, so don’t worry!
Nonetheless, being first doesn’t mean that Zero Latency is perfect in every way. There are still plenty of aspects that it can improve on, such as providing a viewing area for spectators to see what is happening in the game, as well as providing a better virtual reality headset that allows for spectacle-wearers to enjoy Zero Latency comfortably. In time, the company may even set-up PvP tournaments like in paintball or laser tag. Now that’s something to look forward to!
In short, Zero Latency is an impressive example of how virtual reality can transform gaming from being a passive couch-potato-type activity into something that justify the “sport” aspect of “eSports” since it’s fairly physical based. If you’re in Melbourne on vacation or if you live there, well, this is your chance to experience something unique. Do drop by at Zero Latency and check it out!