This year hasn’t been the most favorable to new arcade releases, but that hasn’t stopped all game development. Raw Thrills has already released Nitro Trucks to the market, and with that rolling off the production line, they have put a lot of their attention into their first Virtual Reality project, King Kong Of Skull Island.
The game/ride was first teased at IAAPA 2019 with a looping gameplay trailer and a banner, but it wouldn’t be until Amusement Expo 2020 that we would see it in person. That edition was still a little early, but at the time the company was hoping to have it done and ready by August. Things didn’t work out quite like that, but the company has still been working on it (mostly from home – in-office work will likely not be fully restored until next summer by how they are looking at it right now).
Unfortunately the landscape of the arcade market has changed since March, just like with every other industry, but the extra time has given them a chance to polish things up further. Raw Thrills obviously has confidence in their product, and in that market as it exists, to move forward with this, with the likely release date being “Early 2021.” While this is their first VR game(not the first time they’ve looked at or experimented with the tech, but the first time that they’ll release something with it), it’s not the first time that they’ve worked with motion platforms.
Here is a new shot of the cabinet, which has changed a bit from the last time that we saw it. It now comes with much more “Raw Thrills Red,” a bezel around the top marquee display, built-in face mask and hand wipe dispensers, they’ve upgraded the HMDs to HP Reverb 2 sets (the March model was using the 1st edition of the Reverb), and they are using “HP supercomputers” to power the experience. No idea what the exact spec of the PCs are, but it’s safe to say that it’s enough to power two stereoscopic 3D headsets in 4K resolution and at 60fps, while also driving the two external displays.
Interestingly enough, the back also has artwork on it too(and a ton of fans), which is a little unusual, but given the shape of the cabinet, it’s possible that it would be placed in a more central location than up against a wall.
In checking with a distributor, this one is strategically priced against the competitors (LAI’s Rabbids Big Ride and Trio-Tech’s Storm), landing in the low-to-mid $30k range. This was the plan since before the pandemic, so it looks like the situation didn’t change anything there.
What do you think about this upcoming game from the upgrades? Also feel free to share your thoughts on public-use VR gaming – I’m curious to hear people’s thoughts on that (whether it’s changed in lieu of the pandemic or not).