China opened the doors to its first virtual reality theme park, which aims to ride a boom in demand for virtual entertainment that is set to propel tenfold growth in the country’s virtual reality market, to hit almost US$8.5 billion by 2020.
This 134-hectare park in southwestern Guizhou province promises 35 virtual reality attractions, from shoot-’em-up games and virtual rollercoasters to tours with interstellar aliens of the region’s most scenic spots.
The 330-acre (134-hectare) park in southwestern Guizhou province promises 35 virtual reality attractions, from shoot-‘em-up games and virtual rollercoasters to tours with interstellar aliens of the region’s most scenic spots.
“After our attraction opens, it will change the entire tourism structure of Guizhou province as well as China’s southwest,” Chief Executive Chen Jianli said.
In the push to become a center of innovative tech, Guizhou is luring firms such as Apple Inc, which has sited its China data center there, while the world’s largest radio telescope is in nearby Pingtang county.
Virtual reality has been embraced in China and Chinese consumers have shown a willingness to go out and purchase VR devices or experiences, whereas consumer interest in the West has been considerably more muted.
As the world’s most important market for VR, China is actively investing in the promising mobile and high-end segments of VR for gaming and many of the leading Chinese tech companies are embracing VR in earnest. Virtual reality hardware and software revenue is expected to rise from $249 million in 2016 to $1.7 billion in 2021. There are more than 200 active virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) startups in China and more than 5,000 VR experience zones across the country.