With people around the world stuck at home due to the pandemic, many of those who have VR gear now have more time to explore virtual alternatives to the kind of entertainment outlets available in the physical world. However, not everyone can afford VR headsets and the high-spec computers required to run them, and the pandemic is causing delivery delays in online shopping services such as Amazon Prime for non-essential items.

Ichikara Co.'s VR hostess cafe platform Yumenographia has been available since last year, allowing users who own an Oculus Rift or RiftS or an HTC VIVE or VIVE PRO to visit and interact with cast members in a virtual environment. Whether or not it's related to the current global crisis, the company has announced a new version of Yumenographia which does away with VR gear and allows users to join in with only their desktops. (They're even developing a simplified version which will run on smartphones.)

Here is what a visit looks like when you have VR gear:

In the desktop mode, you'll first be limited to one room (see below). Although you won't be able to move as freely as you can in VR, you'll be able to control your viewing angle with the mouse, and change your emotions with keyboard inputs.

If you've created an avatar in VRoid Studio, you can customize your appearance, or use the default male or female avatar provided by them:

To use the system, you create an account, check the available tickets for fixed time slots posted by cast members, then buy a ticket for JPY 3,300 (incl. tax) for 30 minutes.

They currently have 17 cast members. You can check out the roster on the Yumenographia website. The character profiles are quite varied, ranging in ages, personalities, professions and even species (elf, vampire, dragon, etc.).

Just to get an idea, here are three cast members and their profiles

Hitomi Katakura

  • Age: 24
  • Birthday: Dec. 1st
  • Height: 158 cm
  • Hobbies: Sleeping, indulging people with attention and kindness
  • Likes: Beds and tasty food

Ayane Minami

  • Age: 26
  • Birthday: May 10th
  • Height: 156 cm
  • Hobbies: Watching educational TV shows
  • Likes: mushipan (Japanese steamed buns), cooking

Mau Koroboshi

  • Age: unknown (elf)
  • Birthday: March 21st
  • Height: 148 cm
  • Hobbies: Singing, having fun
  • Likes: animals, nature, cute things

To find out more, visit Yumenographia here.

Required PC Specs

Low graphics mode

  • CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-8350U
  • Memory: 8 GB
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 (Intel® i5-8350U model)
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro(64bit)
  • 1GB of space on your HDD/SSD

High graphics mode

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600
  • Memory: 8 GB
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 1660 6GB GDDR5
  • OS: Windows 10 Home(64bit)
  • 1GB of space on your HDD/SSD

Useful links

By - grape Japan editorial staff.