For many who are familiar with the idea of using an omnidirectional treadmill within virtual reality (VR) one name will usually spring to mind first: Virtuix.
Developers of the Virtuix Omni, the firm which was founded in 2011 has had a hectic few years, especially since it launched its original Kickstarter campaign for the Omni in 2013. So much in fact, we’d be here for a very long time should I actually recount it all. (So click here and here if you want to recap the whole story to date.). The end result is that the firm has shipped over 3,000 Omni systems, they are available at 500 commercial venues across the world and Virtuix proudly boast that the Omni is “the most widely distributed VR hardware besides the headsets”.
But it’s not just the hardware that Virtuix have been working on, there’s the videogame infastructure too. This has notably included Omniverse, the entertainment system allowing users to choose from a variety of titles such as Karnage Chronicles, Vindicta, The Exorcist: Legion VR as well as its own Omni Arena. Now Virtuix have taken the next step, by launching Omniverse ESPORTS – a new platform for competitive videogaming that builds off of their previous forays into esports and which introduces an online social hub, local and global leader boards for videogame titles, rankings for players based on achievement points and awards collected through gameplay.
Speaking on the announcement, CEO and Founder of Virtuix, Jan Goetgeluk, said: “We’re excited to bring Omniverse ESPORTS to our players. VR esports are the latest rage, and the Omni adds a physical component that creates an extra layer of excitement for both competitors and spectators. Now gamers can play videogames, work out, and win money all at the same time. With our player rankings and ‘level-up’ progression system, we are one step closer to the world of Ready Player One.”
“The Omni is no longer just a VR walking simulator,” adds Ilya Polokhin, Founder of New York’s Hubneo VR Lab. “The Omni has become a complete VR entertainment system that provides our customers with unique and fun VR experiences that they can’t have in any other way. Now they can win a lot of money too, if they’re fit enough.”
The monetary prizes mentioned by Goetgeluk and Polokhin above come in the form of monthly gaming tournaments, that players who visit any of the commercial venues around the world operating an Omni can compete for a prize pool of $15,000 (USD) Virtuix themselves say the total is 500+ venues across 45 countries, although it should be noted the first contest is limited to the USA and Canada. Players can register to take part is events at www.omniverse.global.
The debut competition will see a battle in the aforementioned Omni Arena with two-player teams taking on the Metropolis level in ‘Core Defense’ mode.
“Omniverse ESPORTS is exactly what our guests want. Competitive gaming gives our guests a reason to come back and play every week. They keep going until they beat the top score. And the prize money is a big motivator too!” Adds Chad Modad, owner of Houston-based VR arcade Omniverse VR.
The released schedule is below:
You can check out footage of the team’s earlier esports events in these video below. VRFocus will bring you more news about future Virtuix ESPORTS events very soon.