It’s been a long time since we first got to try out Virtuix’s Omni VR treadmill and the company is finally preparing to roll out a more-compact consumer version of the device. It plans to ship the gaming-focused Omni One in the second half of 2020. The system will cost $1,995.
Once you strapped yourself in, you can move your in-game character by physically walking or running. The Omni One, which supports 360-degree movement, will detect crouching and kneeling too. The package includes a VR headset, so you won’t need to plug in an Oculus Rift or some such. Virtuix and third-party developers are working on games for the system, and there will be more than 30 available at launch.
You won’t need to set aside a huge area of floor space for an Omni One — it has a diameter of four feet. It’s also supposedly easy to fold away.
Virtuix says it’s applying the “Peloton model to gaming.” Both companies are gameifying at-home fitness, after all. Omni One will have a monthly subscription fee, which you’ll need to pay to play games online, access rankings and be eligible for contests and prizes. Games will be available to buy separately, including some popular third-party VR titles that won’t require you to move around on the treadmill.
Developers who are interested in making games for Omni One can buy a dev kit for $975. Meanwhile, Virtuix is running a funding campaign to raise awareness of the system. Those who invest $1,000 will receive shares in the company as well as a discount of up to $800 on an Omni One. They’ll also get first dibs on the treadmill once production starts.
Until now, Omni systems have primarily been available at entertainment centers like Dave and Buster’s. The COVID-19 pandemic temporarily slowed down sales of Virtuix’s commercial treadmills, Omni Pro and Omni Arena, prompting it to ramp up work on Omni One. It originally aimed to ship the system in 2022.