Virtual reality coming soon to cinemas


(From left) Ngu, Lee, GSC senior marketing manager Lionel Loh and GSC senior operations manager Tee Chen Heong at the launch of the VAR Box. — CHAN TAK KONG/The Star

MOVIEGOERS will soon be able to experience a new virtual reality (VR) offering at Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) theatres.

Through a strategic partnership with VR entertainment provider VAR Live, the theatres will feature a VAR Box each at selected outlets as a means of creating new and enriching experiences for moviegoers.

The VAR Box is a dedicated game simulation booth designed to bring VR to more people in a smaller footprint.

Powered by Oculus VR technology, the games featured in the VAR Box promise an immersive experience with features such as real shooting effects from the patented “somatosensory” gun and realistic sound and light.

GSC chief executive officer Koh Mei Lee said, “We are committed to pioneering innovations and we are always looking at ways to enhance our offerings and provide our customers the opportunity to enjoy an enriching experience.”

“The introduction of VR at GSC is a whole new experience in visual and aural entertainment,” said VAR Live group chief executive officer Steve Ngu, adding that the VAR Box was the latest entertainment product by the company.

“If you try a VAR Box game, you will not get motion sickness, even after playing for two hours,” he said.

Ngu added that the company would be organising the 2019 VAR World championship in December and send a Malaysian team to compete in Hong Kong.

He told StarMetro that the company planned to have 500 VAR Boxes in Malaysia this year.

“We are looking at having 3,000 VAR Boxes in 1,000 locations worldwide by this year. We are projecting growth from the business model over the next three years and targeting earnings of RM270mil.”

VAR Live executive director YL Lee said, “We will expand the reach of VAR Boxes at cinemas, shopping centres, e-sport centres, bars and other suitable spots.

“The partnership with GSC will bring the VR experience to a whole new level of engagement for customers, and the VAR Box is a great new way to enjoy the VR and AR (augmented reality) gaming experience.”

VAR Live vice-president Ken Bong said GSC’s boxes would be placed at selected cinemas between the end of July and mid-August.

Guests at the launch also had the opportunity to experience two exclusive VAR Box content titles – Over Kill and Double Tap – both of which are interactive shooter games with leaderboards and online multiplayer capabilities.

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