Video gamers are often criticized for their sedentary activity of choice, but who said you can't work up a sweat while still playing games?
Consumers will now be able to get the best of both worlds — getting active while still gaming — thanks to this virtual reality exercise machine called VirZoom.
VirZoom is a stationary exercise bike that could be the perfect VR headset accessory for game-loving fitness enthusiasts. The exercise bike is equipped with software and wireless sensors that track movement and speed, as well as a VR motion controller with buttons (that mirror those on an Xbox controller) that is compatible with PlayStation 4 and PCs.
While the user does need a VR headset, VirZoom supports PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Simply plug the VirZoom dongle into a PC or PS4 to launch the game apps, put on a VR headset to get 360-degree views of the virtual world, and start pedaling to be immersed in a virtual reality experience that makes the user forget they are even working out.
VirZoom uses pedaling to determine motion in its virtual reality spaces, while tracking how far the gamer goes. That means the faster you pedal, the faster you move in the game.
VirZoom comes with five games already preloaded, including the VR game Stampede! that has the gamer riding a horse while catching bandits, the racing game Go Fast Car, and Pesago, where users get to ride a Pegasus and collect coins in a mystical setting.
While the software is limited to just five games as of now, the Massachusetts-based company revealed that games can be developed for the system using the Unity engine, and some additional titles are already in the works
Users will also have to pay $9.99 per month to be able to get multiplayer modes, update the existing games and access fitness data such as heart rate monitoring, calories burned, etc. However, the first month of the subscription service comes free for those who sign up.
The company previously unveiled the first prototypes of VirZoom at this year's E3, although they were actual stationary bikes that required the user to move the handlebars to move in the game. The finished product now has fixed handlebars with buttons and triggers that are used in the games. It also keeps the head-tracking technology to the VR headsets.
VirZoom will start selling its VR exercise bike in the first half of next year for a retail price of $249.95. However, the first 300 customers who preorder now will get the early bird price of $199.95.