NEWVU Opening in Stevenage
A new social gaming centre has opened in Stevenage town centre in the UK called NEWVU, which aims to provide a one-size-fits-all location for a wide variety of different gaming requirements, from the “drop in and have a go” type, a place where parents can take their adorables to have a go on several different gaming setups, including several Nintendo Switch machines, a FIFA flavoured room or a 4 player VR arena, to the esports elite needing a venue for a boot camp, with games such as Counter Strike, Rocket League and Fortnite., with a middle ground for those that want to come and have some fun with games from Minecraft to Valorant.
Customers can hire out specific areas of the facility for their own purposes, be it a preparation for an esports event, a birthday party, a team building event, or any gaming experience that can be utilised, NEWVU is ready to accommodate. So let’s have a look at some of what the NEWVU facility can offer.
As you enter the reception, the friendly staff are waiting to guide you to the area that most interests you, with some comfy seating for those that aren’t taking part in the gaming experience. Any pre-booked sessions are dealt with here, and new bookings can be taken, along with merchandise sales.
A VR Cinema can show a range of VR experiences, and NEWVU can access a library of different displays for customers to enjoy.
Here is the football room, complete with a football pitch carpet. NEWVU has an association with the local Stevenage Football Club, offering prizes for tournaments to go and see the local club play at the grounds that are a very short distance away from the town centre.
Along with standalone VR units, here is the 4 player arena, where players can compete against one another in a range of customised games. During my visit, the arena was set up for a battle royale style shooting game, where not only did the gamers have access to a holder for the controller that simulated the feel of an automatic rifle, but also available were vibrating jackets, all adding to the immersion of the game. At the back of the room was another area that had a pair of Nintendo Switch consoles, also offering a variety of games that could be played by either those spectating or waiting for their turn in the VR arena.
Whilst the ground floor is very much aimed at the casual gamer, moving up to the first floor, the feel changes more to the dedicated gamer, with a range of PCs ready to play a range of different multiplayer games, further building on the social aspect of gaming. Along with this is another room where multiple chairs surround a single machine, expanding on the old “Couch multiplayer” adage, with chairs that can also give feedback depending on the game being played.
A highly impressive streaming studio is available on this floor, a separate sound-proofed room with lighting familiar to experienced streamers, and a dedicated internet line more than capable of handling the needs of the modern-day streamer. Adding to the diversity of the NEWVU facility, this room could easily be a commentary booth for tournaments being held on-site.
On the top floor, the esports lounge is located. Six rigs are all set up in a single room, ideal for training camps or tournament use. Whilst this arena is designed with the top-level gamer in mind, there is nothing to say that this, or indeed any room in the venue, cannot be customised for a wide range of uses.
NEWVU have done a great job of maximising the space available, in terms of services offered in the form of the above mentioned facilities, various standalone consoles with different games catering to different tastes, including a sim racing rig and a classic arcade cabinet that is connected to the internet, allowing players with the same cabinet from across the world to play as well, all whilst allowing a good flow of foot traffic to avoid that “crammed in” claustrophobic feeling akin to a subway train.
Quite a unique facility, certainly in the UK, with huge potential to cater for almost limitless possibilities and gaming events. The staff at NEWVU are ready to discuss any requirements that potential customers may have, big or small. The company has big plans ahead of them, and if the Stevenage site is anything to go by, very exciting times lie ahead for them, and for us all to enjoy.