A VIRTUAL playground includes racing simulators, escape rooms, and omnidirectional treadmills has opened in Ayala Malls Feliz in Pasig City.
“There are quite a few VR (virtual reality) themed parks around the metro but most of them are in the south and we felt that there’s an untapped market here [in Pasig],” Vijay Aidasani, co-founder and president of Virtual PH, told BusinessWorld during the official launch on Oct. 29.
Located at the fifth floor of the mall near the cinemas, the virtual theme park features VR simulators including a VR Karting simulator which can accommodate two people who will compete in a simulated go-kart race; a motorcycle race simulator; and a flight simulator where the player can pretend to be a superhero and fly through the skies.
Use of the simulators ranges from P120 to P400 depending on the number of players and the kind of simulator.
Mr. Aidasani explained that this section serves as an introduction to VR gaming for people who are yet to experience VR.
“Our vision is really to provide an advanced, immersive, social, and mind-blowing experience to our patrons by offering a fun and safe environment where people can just enjoy [VR],” Mr. Aidasani said in a press release.
The highlight of the 216-square meter space is undoubtedly the omni-directional treadmill called KATVR. This allows a player to run, turn, and duck in order to have a fully immersive experience playing first-person shooting games, role-playing games, or horror games.
KATVR can accommodate up to four people who can either team up or play individual games.
“There’s a bit of a learning curve because we attach sensors to the player’s shoes and once the game starts, the treadmill becomes slippery,” Mr. Aidasani said before adding that people usually get a hang of it after a few minutes.
“You can’t get me on a treadmill but I can do this for 40 minutes straight,” he joked.
He said that Virtual PH is the first to offer this kind of experience in the Philippines so far.
Use of KATWALK is priced from P250 for 10 minutes to P700 for 30 minutes.
Virtual PH also offers three themed escape rooms where up to six players must work together to solve puzzles. One room is for horror, another is for fantasy fashioned after Alice in Wonderland, and another is for sci-fi.
And for a fully immersive experience, the escape rooms are powered by HTC Vive VR headsets and GeForce GTX 1070 TI graphic cards, “the kind used to mine bitcoins,” said Mr. Aidasani.
“This section is perfect for friends or even companies who want to do team-building,” Anchesca Ang-Aidasani, co-founder and head of marketing, said in the same interview.
Access to the escape rooms ranges in price from P600/person (for a group of six) to P700/person (for a group of three to four).
One of the perks of doing a VR entertainment center is it’s able to change the games in its library so returning players can experience a different game. The company is currently testing many games which they plan to add to its existing library, said Mr. Aidasani.
For those not living near Pasig and who want to play VR games like these, Mr. Aidasani said they are considering opening a second branch next year though no other details are forthcoming.
But for those who want to travel across the metro or live in Virtual PH’s vicinity, this is quite an experience — though take it from this writer who played almost all of the games (except the escape room), do play with a bit of restraint as the visuals and the entire experience can be overwhelming if done in quick succession.
Virtual PH is located at the 5th floor of Ayala Malls Feliz, Pasig City. For more information visit govirtual.ph or contact 09171608774 or connect@govirtual.ph. — Zsarlene B. Chua