New VR game experience store where players can play Squid Game and Star Trek opening in Bristol

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Sandbox VR is opening its third branch in the UK in Bristol, after London and Birmingham

A new virtual reality game experience where players can play Squid Game and Star Trek for real (almost) is opening at Cabot Circus in Bristol.

Teams of up to six players wearing headsets can lose themselves at Sandbox VR, a global company which is opening only its third branch in the UK in Bristol, after London and Birmingham.

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Shopping centre bosses say it will be an “anchor” store, on the first floor above Urban Outfitters on the corner of The Horsefair and Penn Street, that will help the mall thrive.

No official announcement has been made but the news emerged in a planning application to the city council for new signs at the complex featuring the firm’s brand.

The experiences are inspired by Star Trek’s Holodeck, use Hollywood motion technology and are endorsed by A-listers Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Will Smith, Sandbox says.

Cabot owners Bristol Alliance said in a letter to Bristol City Council: “We can confirm we have agreed commercial terms with the applicant in respective [sic] of the premises outlined and have got full board approval required for this letting.

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“The vision for Cabot Circus is to create a leading multi-purpose destination that thrives in the heart of Bristol city centre.

“Social, cultural and entertainment uses are a key part of this and the addition of Sandbox VR is an important milestone as we continue to reinvigorate and future-proof the asset.

“The premises have been vacant since 2021 when the previous occupier was unable to generate enough trade through low footfall at this location on the first floor with no throughway.

“We consider Sandbox VR to be a destination anchor use and this will be a regional first, which will attract its own footfall provided it is supported by a strong signage and visual marketing campaign to drive awareness for our visitors and across the city.

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“The applicant’s occupation of the space is key to driving footfall to this area of Cabot Circus and will not only reanimate currently vacant space, but also bring increased footfall that will benefit the existing occupiers around the Glass Walk.

“As the premier city centre destination, we consider this proposal supports the continued growth and evolution of Cabot Circus and its place in Bristol city centre.”

Sandbox VR playersSandbox VR players
Sandbox VR players | Sandbox VR

Sandbox’s website says: “Inspired by Star Trek’s Holodeck, our exclusive worlds let you feel like you’re living inside a game or movie, and are built by EA, Sony, and Ubisoft veterans.

“Thanks to Hollywood motion capture cameras, 3D precision body trackers, custom hardware, and haptic suits, you get a feeling of transformation you can’t get anywhere else.

“You might forget you left reality.

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“Our original worlds are meant to be experienced together with others.

“Whether it’s a journey to space or surviving a zombie ambush, there’s something about a thrilling Sandbox experience that transforms your relationships.”

Sandbox has been contacted for a comment, including information on when it will open.

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