MGM Grand Hotel & Casino is making moves to attract a new generation of customers who are more interested in experiences than a chance to win a fortune. The famous Las Vegas property recently opened a new area called Level Up gaming lounge that features pay-to-play entertainment experiences such as arcade games and billiards. The next phase of the Level Up gaming lounge brings virtual reality to the casino. The installation is Zero Latency’s warehouse scale free-roam multiplayer VR experience, and it's coming in September.
“We were looking to bring a unique entertainment element to MGM Grand and found the perfect fit with Zero Latency. This company creates virtual reality gaming experiences using astounding technology,” said President and COO of MGM Grand Scott Sibella. “There is simply nothing like this anywhere in Las Vegas, and we’re proud that MGM Grand is the first in the city to roll out an exciting and fun virtual “wow moment” for our guests.”
Zero Latency’s location based entertainment VR platform includes virtual reality hardware, tracked peripherals, backpack PCs, and large, multi-camera tracking volumes for multiplayer experiences. The company launched its platform in Australia in 2015 using Oculus DK2 headsets. The current iteration of Zero Latency’s VR platform features customized OSVR HDK2 headsets and a custom tracking system.
We recently tested the OSVR HDK2 headset, and it left much to be desired, but most of our complaints stem from the poor tracking solution. Zero Latency offers a robust multi-camera solution and customized headsets with illuminated tracking markers. The other key complaint we had about the OSVR headset is the mess of cables you have to contend with. The Zero Latency solution features a reimagined cable system that keeps the wires bundled together. The warehouse scale platform also includes Alienware backpack PCs for each player to keep the cables off the ground.
Zero Latency’s VR platform supports play areas up to 4,000 square feet and up to eight simultaneous players. The VR arena in MGM Grand’s Level Up Gaming Lounge is half that space, but it still supports up to eight players. MGM Grand and Zero Latency said the Las Vegas installation would offer three different 30-minute team-based games that feature different types of adventures. There’s Zombie Survival, which is a first-person cooperative zombie shooter; Singularity, which is a space-based sci-fi shooter with killer robots; and a physics-based puzzle game suitable for all ages called Engineerium. The two FPS games include a tracked rifle peripheral, although you don't need a peripheral to play Engineerium.
MGM Grand’s “Virtual Reality powered by Zero Latency” arena opens in the Level Up gaming lounge on September 8.