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Wearable Tech

Dave & Buster's gets multiplayer VR arcades using HTC Vive

Grab a beer, go for the holodeck.

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The Vive first arrived in 2016. Now it's aiming for arcades.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're curious to try out VR with a buddy, Dave & Buster's is waiting. The longstanding sports bar-arcade-restaurant chain is installing multiplayer VR experiences using HTC Vive hardware, HTC announced Wednesday.

VR is coming to 114 Dave & Buster's bars across the US and Canada, using 500 Vive VR headsets. The VR experiences will be available to play on June 14, available at locations listed here (my nearby mall's getting one).

HTC promises "new and unique" experiences. The installations will use a "proprietary, multiparticipant motion platform" created specifically for Dave & Buster's. The experiences are not using HTC's new higher-res (and easier-fitting) Vive Pro headgear, according to HTC: instead they'll be using the original Vive headsets (we thought it would be Vive Pro: we were wrong).

Multiplayer VR arcade attractions have been on the rise over the last two years, between The Void's Star Wars experience, Imax's deployment of VR in movie theater lobbies, and Zero Latency's zombie-shooting VR experience in Las Vegas. That same-room holodeck feel is exactly what's not possible on home hardware.

Dave & Buster's large-scale release, however, is the largest VR arcade initiative yet. Considering that many people haven't even tried VR once, it could be worth saving up your Power Card chips for. 

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