2 very different arcades and a new IMAX theater press play in South Austin
No other part of town can beat South Austin when it comes to old school, outdoorsy entertainment, but the people down here want their screens, too. In between trips to McKinney Falls and the Far Out Lounge, South Austinites now have two more options for lights-out, tech-based entertainment.
First, Zero Latency, a "free roam" virtual reality space, is now open for group gaming. Hot on its heels, starting December 1, EVO Entertainment Belterra Village is adding an IMAX theatre for a higher-tech viewing experience and and an arcade, well, for a lot more fun.
Both are basically arcades, then, but with very different connotations. Zero Latency calls its 4000-square-foot space at Southpark Meadows an "arena," although visitors will really encounter an empty room. Once they put on the headset, the space will be transformed, and they will hopefully not bump into their pals — with up to eight people allowed in each room.
“It really is the best way to experience VR, whether you’re an experienced gamer or a first-timer," said venue owner Mohammad A. Edaibat in a release. "As an aerospace engineer that is specialized in simulation developments, I can confidently say [the] Zero Latency system does mimic the high-fidelity simulation systems used for serious training. I can see it being used not just for fun and entertainment but also for athleticism and serious competitions.”
The release lists five available games, including the new original game Outbreak, a teamwork game fighting a zombie virus, and and exclusive VR take on Ubisoft's first-person shooter Far Cry. This is the 80th location for Zero Latency, including one in North Austin. Its games have been played more than 3 million times worldwide.
The EVO tech will likely be more familiar to most Austinites, bringing the city's fourth IMAX theater (according to what's listed on Google Maps). This projection in particular is powered by lasers, resulting in a sharper picture. A release says the advanced audio system delivers "10x the dynamic range of standard sound systems," helping with even sound distribution to all seats in the theater. When it opens, guests can watch Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, Godzilla Minus One, or Napoleon.
Meanwhile, the brand-new arcade offers more than 35 games including Jurassic Park, Skee-Ball, Kong VR and a giant claw machine.
"We are thrilled to expand our entertainment experience by integrating IMAX's technology into our theatres," said Vivek Abichandani, vice president of strategy and corporate development at Elevate Entertainment Group (EEG), EVO's Austin-based parent company that also operates Violet Crown Cinemas and others. "We are setting a new standard for cinematic excellence, and we can't wait for our guests to experience the magic of movies like never before and enjoy our expanded entertainment offering at Belterra."
Zero Latency South Austin is located at 9900 I-35 Ste M500. EVO Entertainment Belterra Village is located at 166 Hargraves Dr., Austin, TX, 78737.