How many times have you sat in a cinema waiting for the movie to come on and thought about how great it would be to play a video game on that giant screen with that giant sound system.
I don’t mean a mates “home cinema” where “Old Mate Barry” brags about the size of his TV and his $20 soundbar, I mean an actual Movie Theatre where you would go to watch the latest Avengers flick because it needs to be seen in all its glory.
Well, turns out you can do just that…
For a limited time gamers can take their console and controllers and hire out a private cinema (Event Cinemas) using state of the art giant screens and epic surround sound, it’s the ultimate gaming experience!
I was given free rein to play what I wanted on a giant screen and naturally, I took with me the good old Nintendo Switch, because well..
But also I was eager to see what the Witcher 3 port looked like on a massive 2k screen.
The room I was in was one of the standard cinemas with a 2k screen but offering an impressive 7.1 Surround Sound that was cranked up. This is what’s on offer for the 2-hour standard hire for $200, but if your local cinema supports V-Max or Gold Class you can talk to them about what the increased rate would be. For me, I think this is more than enough.
The console plugged in flawlessly to an HDMI cable and I could play wirelessly from anywhere in the room, even with the dodgy Nintendo joycons Bluetooth. I do have a need to be in the absolute centre of the room when I’m watching a movie to experience the best and the same apparently goes for gaming on a big screen as well.
During the set up I played some Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom. The opening cut scene is like pure Japanese Anime and well worth the time I spent watching it. In-game the bright colours suited the massive screen perfectly. I’ll be doing a full review for this game in the coming weeks.
Next, I wanted to get straight into what I thought would be one of the ultimate games to play on this screen, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. It really was as good as I thought it would be, once again the bright colours really popped on the Event Cinema Screen and the gameplay was super responsive. This would be perfect to play in groups with 4 player split-screen, everyone would still have a perfect view of the entire track.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was OK, I really wanted to test the response time and it was great, graphically playing the Switch version on anything bigger than handheld mode is just a waste of time, but somehow the cinema screen kept me in the game aside from the blurs. I need to really stress this is the issue of the game, not the screen. It did make me think about how great it would be to play a cinematic title like “The Last of Us 2” on Playstation in this sort of environment. Maybe some live gameplay demonstrations in the same vein as “Twitch” streaming could be on the cards for Event Cinemas in the future, who knows?
Ok.. full disclosure time, I had planned to do some “Fortnite” on the big screen, but I’d uninstalled it because well.. I’m over it. I went to reinstall it and didn’t check. So ah well… meh.
Next was the awesome multiplayer game “Super Smash Bros Ultimate”, now I’ve played this game a lot and am still really bad at it, but seeing it displayed in such an epic scale was like playing it for the first time. Brilliant colours and high energy gameplay looks insane!
This is a great concept even if it might be just for a limited time. Think about it, a kids birthday party at the cinema playing Mario Kart? If you are getting them a console, they could open it there, plug it in and away you go!
A Fifa tournament would be just as brilliant! or playing other sports games could also be awesome, think of NBA on the screen.
The only downside I could think of is that as a regular gamer, two hours go by in the blink of an eye, in FIFA it’s roughly 8 games on normal settings without messing around in menus. In Mario Kart, it would likely be a bit more, but playing 4 player split-screen would be a massive advantage to using it. So when they say it’s for up to you and 19 friends, choose those friends wisely. If you can split the cost amongst far fewer people, it would be well worth it.
This is an experience I’ve always thought about, so to finally try it out and realise it’s everything I thought it would be is a massive thumbs up.