Scotland’s first virtual reality arcade opens

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Scotland’s first virtual reality arcade opens today.

E-VR will open in the Ocean Terminal shopping centre in Edinburgh on Thursday, offering a variety of virtual reality experiences and games.

Holly Morton and Piotr Pyrchala try out gaming headsets at Scotland's first virtual reality arcade in Edinburgh. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Holly Morton and Piotr Pyrchala try out gaming headsets at Scotland's first virtual reality arcade in Edinburgh. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Owners Lynzi Leroy and Peter Burnett said they wanted to create a “hotspot” for virtual reality in Scotland.

Visitors will enter one of the arcade’s seven VR pods and put on an HTC Vive portable headset, to fully immerse themselves in the experience.

Around 16 games and virtual experiences are currently available, including a simulation of climbing Mount Everest, Airborne VR which sees users become a paratrooper in the D-Day landings, and an application which lets users explore different areas of the human body.

The arcade will be open from 10am to 10pm, with prices ranging from £8.50 for a small pod for 15 minutes to a room hire for 90 minutes at £100 for up to eight people.

The arcade will also have an “incubator” room where developers can use VR technology in their own projects.

Only a handful of virtual reality arcades exist around the world, predominantly in the US, Canada and China, but they have proved hugely popular.

Ms Leroy said: “We’re really new on the market to the point where we’re still learning about the technology.

“In China they are rolling these out quite quickly and in Canada there is a few and I think there is a couple in England just now, so it’s still very new and we need to see how popular it is here in Scotland. But the feedback we have had so far is that it’s been really great.”

Mr Burnett added: “There are great teaching experiences, a few of which we have got here.

“There is one where you can travel in the human body, which is fantastic, and developers are working on pain relief and training people on how to use robotic limbs, so people are thinking of new things all the time.

“Once you try it you will see that it really is for everybody.”

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