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Hyper Reality gaming via Zero Latency Mumbai

We recently had a chance to hit up the Zero Latency guys with their first gaming setup in Mumbai.

What is it?

It's the first (or one of the first) multi-person gaming zone in the country. Up to 16 players can enter the same space and experience a shared reality. Whether it is killing robots or getting creative, it's all up to the group of people who are participating.

Room Scale Gaming

This is a completely new level of immersion- you're actually playing with each other in virtual reality in the same (huge) room. This is the best way to play in VR!

How do you join?

Simple. Check out their website which has a handy list of locations and prices. It also gives you a good overiew of the 5 games they have currently. Costs about INR 800-900 for a 30 minute session, which is immersive and engaging. If you want to continue longer, there are 45 minute and 60 minute sessions available as well.

It was ridiculously immersive. No matter that both of us are familiar with multiplayer VR, the experience drew us in and had us running, jumping and ducking all over the place within the first minute.

What's so cool about it?

Basically, you go into a big space with a portable VR backpack and headset. They're using the HP Z backpack computer combined with HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets (not the Reverb, the older version unfortunately) that let you roam around their warehouse sized open gaming area.

The VR headset and gun. Note the controller mounted on it.

You also get a very sci-fi looking gun that has the WMR controller attached to it. It's a bit heavy (around 2 kilos) but has a nice heft and feel to it. You can pump the lever to load rounds, or switch to plasma rifles or other weapons. Good tactile response.

The backpack is also pretty light, all told it is pretty easy to move around the space and shoot at things. Though we wouldn't recommend moving too fast or jumping. And of course, diving and rolling is not recommended unless you can pay for their hardware and your medical bills!

The experience started with us being given a quick run-through of the hardware and equipment and how to use it by their very helpful assistants/marshals. This is a very important step and needs to be done correctly in order for first-time users to get familiar with how to move around in VR.

VR backpack rigs
The Zero Latency VR Rig. Powered by HP.

The Experience

Overall, pretty good despite a few lag issues when respawning.

It starts with us standing in a small room with heavy sci-fi elements. A basic story unfolds, explaining where you are and what you need to do. Non-spoiler version, you move around and shoot at things. With some pretty fancy effects thrown in.

The story is kept deliberately simple, for first time users but the gameplay is diverse enough to keep people occupied on repeat visits as well. It is to be noted that a majority of players would be first timers here, so the decision to keep story elements simple was a good one.

There are currently 5 experiences in total, with stories ranging from Zombie attacks to exploration with more on the way soon.