The Problem With Launderettes (and how it applies to Virtual Reality)

I do have some concerns around the viability of #VirtualReality Arcades. Now to be clear, I believe there is easy money to be made with low cost pop-up #VR experience booths. Clearly high margin business. Beyond this, VR arcade owners need to be learning a lesson from the rise and fall of high-street #laundrettes.

Laundrettes were once commonplace, found on every street corner. They died out – in short – due to the accessibility of affordable washer/dryers coupled with the expense of maintaining machines running 12 hours a day.

Too tenuous a comparison? Then take common place flat-screen arcades, these are fading away, with the exception of those establishments that diversify; #gambling, #alcohol, #food or a captive audience have kept the few remaining arcades alive.

Not only is #VR fast becoming affordable, fundamentally undermining the novelty appeal of #VRcades but it gets worse, arcades were great places to meet friends, VR is physically isolating & removes the barriers of distance, why travel to play VR with people?

Diversification is key, reinvesting every penny to stay ahead of the technology. Right now the successful #VRcades will be arena based, something a long way from being available to the masses.

But with all this reinvestment to avoid #digital #obsolescence is it possible to get rich with a #VRcade, my feeling is no. But #6DoF inside-out tracking HMDs & backpack PCs + a warehouse in the cheap part of town + a genius #developer & you might just get that #Ferrari yet.

Just my opinion, not fact, equally important, what do you think?

I discuss this subject and more on my Virtual Reality podcast (non-commercial, advert free).