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The 360 Lounge in Cape Town
Green Point welcomes a new social play place for avid Xbox gamers
Anyone who dabbles a bit in FIFA 15 or Forza 5 knows that the stereotype of the average gamer is just plain untrue: avid Xboxers and PlayStationers may seem like lonesome cave dwellers from the outside, but the fact is, they’re actually deeply social beings, and the whole thrill of gaming is amplified by their connection with a heap of like-minded online mates. The 360 Lounge gets this and so it’s taking things up a notch.
Opened in early December 2014 in Green Point’s classy Cape Quarter Square lifestyle centre, the new permanent LAN-like setting was launched by Capetonian Craig Turner to give button bashers a communal place to gather and interact face-to-face. As an avid gamer himself, the owner knows that there’s nothing more exhilarating for a player than the knowledge that the person you’re competing against isn’t sitting on the other side of an Internet cable, but on the opposite side of the very same room, and he wanted to treat inner-city dwellers to this experience.
“The vibe that’s created from everyone being physically together playing the same game is absolutely unreal,” says Craig, who was inspired by similar popular gaming lounges in the UK while he was travelling there. “When you are playing against someone who’s sitting right behind you, you actually play a better game because you know that when it’s finished you have to stand up and look the person in the eye.”
The laidback console kingdom is not the first of its kind in Cape Town, but it is the newest, which means it boasts the latest and greatest in everything: the lounge has 2 Xbox Ones and 10 Xbox 360s, a wide assortment of the most recent games, huge Full HD flat-screen televisions and a cluster of super comfy leather reclining sofas (some with drink holders). Add to this the fact that the room’s layout can easily be rearranged and it’s not hard to see why this spot is magic for live tournaments and themed nights.
But The 360 Lounge (the name is a nod to Xbox 360 but also to the all-round, immersive experience of a social lounge) is not just for those who want to feel part of a community that’s more concrete than their cyber one. It’s also appealing to anyone who’s simply craving a change of gaming environment, who’s tired of their partner hassling them at the most critical moment, who’s constantly irked by a slow, lagging Internet connection at home or who’s keen to try out a mass of different video games before buying – the venue has everything from Destiny and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to FIFA 15, Grand Theft Auto V and Assassin’s Creed.
Plus, if you work in the area (and many people do), the lounge is a top spot to kill a bit of time during lunch break – you can purchase a certain amount of playing time and carry over the minutes you don’t use to the next day. And if you don’t have an office to return to, well, you can while away whole days at 360 giving those fingers a good workout. The cost gets proportionately less when game time is bought in bulk and the Cape Quarter Square centre is home to plenty of coffee shops and restaurants at which to refuel (some eateries will even bring nosh straight to players). And if you just want a quick snack or drink between shooting, scoring or levelling up, there’s also an on-site fridge stocked with bites and refreshments.
So, really, there’s no need to leave this chic Green Point lounge. And we’re guessing that when you do, playing back at home alone on your own console just won’t quite cut it anymore.
Note: There’s ample street parking just outside after 5pm on most days; otherwise, you can park in the Cape Quarter basement lot just under the lounge (between 3:30pm on Friday and 10pm on Saturday, underground parking is charged at a flat rate of R5).
Tip: The 360 Lounge runs a number of great specials. For example, between 6pm on Friday and close on Sunday, if you buy one hour of playing time, you get another hour free, and if you buy three hours of game time, you get two hours free. Similarly, if you bring in three friends, you will receive the equivalent of whatever amount of time they purchase for free.
The Bill: The pricing system is based on time spent playing on the machines, and the more hours you buy at one time, the cheaper it gets proportionately. 1 hour is R55, 3 hours is R138, 6 hours is R258, 9 hours (a full day) is R360, 20 hours is R700, 26 hours is R895, 38 hours is R1235 and 50 hours is R1495. Of course, you can carry time bought over from one visit to the next.
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 12pm – 11pm; Saturday: 10am – 11pm; Sunday: 10am – 9pm (the lounge opens a little earlier on weekdays during the holiday season)
Cape Quarter Square Shopping Centre (Inside next to Villa Mia restaurant) | 41 Napier Street | Green Point | Cape Town | +27 (0)76 386 5412
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