If you’re considering adding virtual reality arcade machines to your family entertainment center in the next year, keep reading. This post will save you time and money.
The supply chain has created real headwinds for VR arcade game suppliers. For the last year or more, finding headset cables for an HTC Vive Pro was like searching for the Loch Ness Monster. Reports of sightings were elusive. Pricing for everything from components to shipping continue to escalate. The headset cable supply is about to get better according to HTC. Computer graphics card supplies are coming back.
But fuel prices keep shipping costs at record levels and labor costs are increasing. These and other inflationary pressures will force suppliers to keep prices us, or raise them if they have not already done so. George Smith, from Family Entertainment Group, commented to me last week that games he was “paying between $8-10K for are now $15K or more.”
We have another problem; The Lighthouse 2.0 tracking cameras that a lot of VR arcade systems use are out of stock. Some suppliers are being told it will be end of the year before they get new stock.
What does this mean? Products like:
- LAI’s Virtual Rabbids – The Big Ride,
- Triotech’s Storm Simulator,
- VRsenal’s V2, and
- Most multiplayer systems like Hologate, Boxblaster,
- And even some free roam systems like Spree all could be facing long lead times.
This shortage will definitely accelerate the move to alternative headsets like the HTC Focus 3, which uses inside-out tracking. This means the cameras are in the headset, instead of mounted on an external structure like truss.
Don’t Wait for IAAPA This Year
If you’re planning to go to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions show (IAAPA) to conduct your buying, you will be paying more, and could be waiting until well into 2023 before you take delivery. If you’re considering a new VR arcade game for your family entertainment center this year, you might want to order now.
Some steps you can take:
- Buy early. Put your FOMO aside about missing out on some new product at IAAPA. Secure your supply now while you can.
- If you’re not sure if a product uses Lighthouse 2.0, reach out to the VR arcade game supplier and ask them. If it does, see what their inventory situation looks like.
- Ask your favorite VR arcade game supplier if they’re willing to offer a pre-IAAPA special if you order before the show.
- Use this link and hit me up via email for recommendations of the best VR arcade products for your location. Send me your website, the types of customers you generally serve, and your budget. I will come back to you with a short list, and probably some discounts.
Going to Wait Anyway?
If you are determined to wait for IAAPA, make sure to register for my upcoming IAAPA Buyers Guide. I will publish a version for IAAPA Europe in September, and a bigger version for IAAPA Orlando in November.
Register for the guide, and you’re eligible for a free tour of the show floor during the event. You’ll also get a slew of discounts from the leading VR suppliers. Todd Maunsell from Cinergy took the tour with his team last year. In an hour they saw everything they needed to see. They then took their time demoing only the games that mattered.
Time is our most valuable commodity. Lots of operators are struggling with the labor shortage, and will cut their IAAPA trip short. The guide will help you save both time and money. I promise.