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City news, 23.03.2004 11:29

Virtual reality centers to open in the city

Virtual reality centers to open in the city Virtual reality recreation centers will soon open in a number of the city's film theaters and shopping malls, St. Petersburg navy and aviation simulation system producer Transas announced Friday at the presentation of its new line of arcade game cabins.

Virtual reality trips with family and friends have long since become a favorite leisure activity in major western cities. Among the world's most famous centers offering virtual reality entertainment are the Disney network, including Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT, and DisneyQuest, FantaWild and FunPlex in the United States, the Ancient History Center in Greece - combining games and educational programs - and the London Virtual Planetarium in the United Kingdom.

The Transas virtual reality center opening this summer in St. Petersburg will be the first virtual reality amusement center in Russia.

Transas invested about $1 million in its first virtual reality center to begin operation at the end of June this year. The center will be located at the Nord shopping mall on Prospekt Prosveshcheniya.

The company is planning to open four to five permanent centers - one per 1 million people -in St. Petersburg alone. After the project is tested in St. Petersburg, similar centers will be started in Moscow and abroad. Negotiations are already in progress with Germany. Transas has also designed mobile centers to be used in the Leningrad Oblast.

Rides will feature classic scenarios such as fairy tale trips for kids costing about 60 rubles per hour, group battle simulations and virtual romantic voyages for adults at prices that vary depending on the time of day. A virtual reality journey in a closed cabin for two will cost approximately 600 rubles per hour. Drinks and snacks can be ordered to the cabin and plastic cards will be used for billing. Inexpensive six-minute rides will be available for people on the run.

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