Atari’s Nolan Bushnell has founded a VR startup

When Nolan Bushnell founded Atari in 1972, he changed computing history. Now, he’s trying to do the same with virtual reality. He just launched Modal VR – a company that plans to offer high-end virtual reality experiences, the likes of which have never been seen before.

Modal VR would produce both the hardware and software to power these. The completely wireless headsets would offer low-latency experiences. These would be combined with an accompanying full-body suits, which would allow the user to immerse themselves in an expansive VR world. You can see a video demonstration above.

Ever been to a tech festival?

TNW Conference won best European Event 2016 for our festival vibe. See what's in store for 2017.

And when we say expansive, we’re talking about as large as 900,000 square feet.

VR equipment is already quite expensive, and Modal VR’s product is unlike anything else out there. As a result, the company doesn’t intend to aim it at home users. Rather, Modal VR thinks that it’s best suited for arcades and industrial applications.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. One of the things holding VR back is the staggering upfront cost. By reducing the cost to individual sessions, you make it accessible to more people.

But can you imagine how cool an open-ended VR game would be? Imagine what it would be like to LARP Skyrim or Fallout 4 whilst in a fully-immersive VR environment.

We may never know. Either way, Modal VR will ship developer units soon. If it takes off, it could have a transformative effect on the entire industry.

Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell launches a VR company on Engadget

Read next: Oculus CTO warns VR can't survive on 'novelty'

Here's some more distraction

Comments