If you’re going to PAX Australia this year, let me give you a tip. You’re going to see a lot of VR. It doesn’t matter whether it’s going to be indie games on the HTC Vive, spacewalking in the Oculus Rift, Batman with PSVR, or weird social trivia with Gear VR.
But you know what else PAX Australia is going to have this year? Treadmills. Virtual reality treadmills.
In an announcement that was embargoed for this morning, PAX Australia announced they would have a dedicated VR freeplay section for the first time. It’d include areas for the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, as well as green-screen VR setups.
But more importantly, you’ll be able to check out the funky Virtuix Omni treadmill. It’s basically VR attached to a black and green hexagonal treadmill that converts your movement in real-life into in-game movement.
Here’s what it looks like with Battlefield 4:
I can’t imagine they would have Battlefield 1 running on this in time for PAX Australia, but it’d be damn cool if they did. (Now I’m thinking about other VR rigs — imagine the kind of VR rig you’d need for something like Titanfall 2.)
In a more practical sense, the Omni treadmills are great to have if only because it’ll help me walk off all the soft drink and crap food that I always imbibe at a convention. That said, it will also probably result in more sweaty gamers — something I’m sure any convention regular is all too familiar with.
There’s no word on what kind of games will be playable in the VR Freeplay section, although more details about PAX are due out in the coming weeks.