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Classic Games (Games) Displays Entertainment

Pong's Inventor Unveils Three New VR Arcade Games - Including Pong (technologyreview.com) 27

Pong's creator is now "a grizzled guy in his mid-70s" who believes there's a market for people who'd prefer to try out virtual reality headsets at videogame arcades. An anonymous reader quotes MIT Technology Review: In 1972, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell invented Pong, a version of table tennis that, in many ways, launched the video-game industry. Forty-five years later, Bushnell is using that same simple game to test the waters for virtual-reality arcade gaming. Bushnell's latest venture is a company called Modal VR, which is building its own wireless virtual-reality headsets and games that it plans to roll out in places like arcades, malls, and movie theaters in the coming months.
Bushnell's company has built three games -- a fighting game called Mythic Combat and Project Zenith a first-person shooter set in outer space. (More than 16 players can gather in the same virtual space.) Their third game, a VR adaptation of Pong "was originally put together as a joke, in homage to Bushnell's past -- but the company decided to use the simple two-player game anyway to demonstrate what it's working on at the World's Fair Nano technology fair in San Francisco in late January."

The article describes players who "donned a prototype bulky black headset and played Pong in virtual reality, running from side to side to control the game's simple white paddles -- which a smiling Bushnell said was fitting because "we're at the Pong stage of VR."
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Pong's Inventor Unveils Three New VR Arcade Games - Including Pong

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    • by Anonymous Coward

      And I foresee this as another flop, because honestly:
      A. Who has the money for movie theaters, arcades, etc anymore?
      B. How many people will choose this over either gaming from the comfort of their home, or doing something else with their friends?
      C. Who is REALLY interested in VR enough for it to provide lasting gameplay, instead of being the neglected game of the week at another arcade?

      I haven't been to an arcade in about 4+ years, but the last time I went they had the same games (give or take 1-2 machines t

      • People go to cinemas and arcades because they offer something people can't get at home. Or for social reasons, to have a night out with friends or family. What cinemas offer is movies that aren't released on Bluray yet, working 3D, and a big screen. Arcades? I suppose what they offer over home setups is those games with a physical aspect: a tilting platform or some weird haptic interface. So what aspect of VR would make me come to the cinema or an arcade, because I can't have it at home? Sitting with
      • Maybe you should go and get a job instead of sitting around whining on Slashdot in that case.

      • by AC-x ( 735297 )

        Who has the money for movie theaters

        You do realize that last year's global box office revenue was $38 billion, right? It seems that plenty of people do have the money to go to the movies.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Bushnell "appropriated" the idea for Pong from Ralph Baer, a German-American inventor that was working for Magnavox. Bushnell visited a trade convention and saw the Magnavox Odyssey in use, took the idea and made it into the second ever commercial coin-op arcade game (behind Bushnell's earlier Computer Space and the non-commercial Galaxy Game). Magnavox sued Atari for patent infringement over it and won.

    Not that Bushnell didn't have many incredibly important contributions to the video game industry, but..

  • we know who Nolan Bushnell is. You don't need to put "pong inventor" in the headline. His name will suffice.
    • Yeah, old people like you and me maybe. But there's a whole new generation or two of brand new people who don't have the amazing knowledge and wisdom we have.

      I'd trade it all to be 25 again. So would you.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I hate the 25yr olds! They know nothing and can't use a computer to save their data or their life! I would definitely hate to be in that group again!

        -27yr old.

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        I am old and can't remember. :(

  • by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @08:47PM (#53804577)

    Atari founder Nolan Bushnell invented Pong

    the concept was stolen from Ralph Baer, and the invention was done by Allan Alcorn, who did all the fucking work

    Bushnell go fuck off and die already, all you ever do is is pop up like a stanky goblin fart every 2 years, usally acting like a right asshole

  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @08:55PM (#53804597)

    to demonstrate what it's working on at the World's Fair Nano technology fair in San Francisco in late January."

    Thank you editor David. Rather than jump on you case for the bogus claim that Nolan invented Pong, I want to thank you for letting us know what is coming up at the end of January.

  • (More than 16 players can gather in the same virtual space.)

    Wow. 16? Like, one-six? Surely no machine in the world can handle that kind of data throughput!


    Alternative snarky comment: why more than 16? Is 17 the minimum, for some reason? If there is an actual hard limit, why not quote that number instead of 16? Why not say "more than 8" or "more than 24"?

  • Good to hear. I thought he was one of those people that died died died.

  • https://youtu.be/HQMcTnEIuMg?t... [youtu.be] Bushnell and Modal stopped by where I work. It was really cool- not being tethered like a Vive/Oculus was nice. I got to play one match of Pong, which was cool, but I would have loved to try the other games too. It took a shocking amount of cardio to play Pong to 7 points.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake