The first “VR Bang (room)” where visitors can experience virtual reality (VR) will open in Korea next month. So, people pay attention whether it can create a new digital gaming culture, replacing a dying PC Bang, and promote the growth of the Korean VR industry.
WowInsights, a VR franchising company, announced on May 10 that it will open the first VR Bang in Gangnam Station, Seoul, in June.
At the VR Bang, visitors can experience VR contents with VR devices. Wow Insight plans to introduce games, videos and expedition contents with latest VR devices, including the Samsung Gear VR and Taiwan’s HTC Vive.
The VR Bang is already considered a new business model which replaces the PC Bang in China. In fact, HTC signed a contract with a China’s PC Bang franchising company to create a VR tryout zone at existing PC Bangs. Under the agreement, the companies will provide services which allow visitors to play VR games for 10 minutes with the latest Vive for US$5 (5,900 won).
Korea is also paying attention to the business potential of VR Bangs. This is why the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is pushing ahead with “VR New Industry Flagship” project by investing 185 billion won (US$157.98 million) for three years in VR platform, VR game experience and VR theme park. According to Korea Creative Content Agency, the number of PC bangs in Korea is down by half from 23,548 in 2001 to 13,146 in 2014.
However, some say that businesses should solve VR dizziness issues and secure various VR contents in order to make VR Bangs replace PC Bangs.