London is 1st overseas location to debut this summer
Bandai Namco Entertainment announced on Thursday that its planned VR Zone Shinjuku center will open in Tokyo on July 14. When the facility opens, it will have 15 activities, including:
(See gallery below for more images of facility and VR games.)
In addition, Bandai Namco Entertainment plans to open a selection of VR activities in 20 locations around the world, with London being the first location this summer. Bandai Namco Entertainment is considering opening in such locations as Singapore, Dubai, and New York.
The facility in Tokyo will also have project mapping installations by digital art group NAKED. The exterior of the facility will have a digital projection of Pac-Man, and the interior will feature a “Center Tree” that will allow users to interact with the building itself.
Bandai Namco Entertainment claims the facility will be Japan’s largest virtual reality center. The facility is located in the Kabukicho district in Shinjuku, Tokyo where the Shinjuku Tokyu Milano building once stood (before closing at the end of 2014), and it will have 3,600 square meters (about 39,000 square feet) of floor space.
The center will use anime and manga characters in its VR experiences, and will use VR goggles as well as projectors that put images on walls and floors. The facility will also offer food and drinks.
Bandai Namco Entertainment is leasing the temporary facility being built by Tokyu Corporation. Japanese newspaper Nikkei has reported that the center can operate for one to two years, until Tokyu Group breaks ground on its redevelopment project for the site.
The center is part of Bandai Namco Entertainment‘s Project i Can, which ran a VR “experience center” at the Diver City Tokyo Plaza in Tokyo from April to October last year. The center offered a Gundam experience beginning on August 26. The project also debuted a Doraemon VR experience in Tokyo this past February.
Disclosure: Anime Consortium Japan Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings Inc., is a non-controlling, minority shareholder in Anime News Network Inc.