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Report: PlayStation VR heading to arcades

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Company eyes “location-based entertainment”

PlayStation VR headset
PlayStation VR headset
PlayStation

Sony plans to place PlayStation VR headsets in entertainment facilities in Japan, according to a report sourced by the Wall Street Journal.

A new “location-based entertainment” unit inside Sony Interactive Entertainment will lead the virtual reality initiative and look for partners in various industries including VR arcades, according to the report. There are no current plans for Sony to run its own center, though.

Last year, Polygon reported on the growing importance of virtual reality arcades in helping to push the technology into become more mainstream.

While different forms of VR arcades have been around since the late ’90s, it hasn’t been until recently that new virtual reality gaming centers have been gaining massive popularity around the world, first in China, then in other parts of Asia and soon widespread in Europe and North America.

In October, HTC announced initiatives to make it easier for someone to open and run a VR arcade as a small business.

So far, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s efforts surrounding the support of the PlayStation VR headset have been geared toward keeping up with supply. In a February interview with the New York Times, Andrew House, global chief executive of SIE, said that people are lining up outside stories when supplies show up.

The company’s internal goal for the headset was to sell 1 million units by mid-April, according to the story. As of February, 915,000 had been purchased, according to the story.

We’ve reached out to PlayStation for comment on its plans for commercial support for the headset and VR arcades and will update this story when they respond.