By Declan Murphy
Right above the High Street Arcade near Gamers’ Emporium across from Argos, you’d be forgiven for not noticing this little gem at first. But keep your eyes on the lookout and you’ll come across theVRzone, the brainchild of Danial and Rhys Morris, a local father-son duo who’ve got their sights on bringing VR to the masses.
Having spoken to the pair, it’s clear to see the passion they have for their business. The time and effort is clear from wall-to-wall, but is it what Swansea needs or even wants?
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, VR is the initialling form of Virtual Reality, one of the biggest tech crazes sweeping the world. Danial spoke to me about the lack of a large-scale VR experience company in the UK and how he hopes his more than affordable price and stellar experience is enough to win the hearts of the consumer. And personally, for me, it does.
theVRzone has three stations featuring HTC Vive set-ups along with an Oculus driving-sim set-up. The range of games, although not extensive at the moment, is promising. The layout is well thought through and thought out. Including retractable cords on the gear, premium headphones, space to fit the recommended Vive moving-area and padded walls, it’s clear that they’re going all-in with no question of quality and leave all their talking to the gear.
Featuring all the games that you’ll find VR-based YouTubers playing like The Lab and Space Pirate, it’s clear that they’ve done their research. Danial spoke to me about how adaptable he’s hoping for the set-up to become, soon to feature games like Paranormal Activity, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes and Portal. theVRzone has the potential to become a quintessential part of Swansea activity and gaming range, joining Laserzone, The Gamers’ Emporium and Limitless as the place to spend your free-time along with friends.
Given that it’s also a new and expensive market, you’d be forgiven for thinking the experience is going to set you back a fair few bob; but instead we were pleasantly shocked to find that for two people the price is a measly £14.50, which when you think about the cost of the equipment is incredible. Danial spoke to me about his reasoning, stating that it was more about expansion and getting people to try it more so than trying to make a quick buck.
As a student who isn’t always captivated by ideas on how to spend my weekends and evenings, sometimes feeling like Swansea’s offering is lacklustre and leaving something to be desired, theVRzone fills the gap by offering something not many places in the UK get the opportunity to host at all.
So if you’re looking for something to do this weekend with your flatmates or your society is looking for a great experience day I thoroughly recommend theVRzone. Even if it’s just for the experience of trying VR, it’s something everyone should do.
If you’re keen to try it you can book a reservation or ask questions on their Facebook page.