IBM held a press event for its “Sword Art Online: The Beginning” virtual reality demonstration on Thursday. Japanese game news websites Inside Games and 4Gamer posted photos of the demonstration area, as well as the virtual reality demonstration itself. Inside Games posted two videos of the players playing the demonstration.
Sword Art Online: The Beginning is currently in production with an Alpha test starting this weekend for 208 lucky fans. IBM will be leading the game’s development and the results will pave way to more unique Virtual Reality experiences.
The game itself will serve as a prequel to the Sword Art Online game in the series. IBM will be co-developing the experience using their Cognitive Systems, that powers IBM Watson, to produce the game. It will be automated alongside their new cloud technology titled SoftLayer.
Here’s game-play footage:
The VR systems uses the Oculus Rift DK2 model, branded as the Nerve Gear, with additional sensors in conjunction with a multidirectional treadmill. A Xbox One Kinect is also used to help with tracking player movement.
Here’s the teaser trailer that was released last February:
Sword Art Online is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. The series takes place in the near-future and focuses on various virtual reality MMORPG worlds. The light novels began publication on ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki Bunko imprint from April 10, 2009, with a spin-off series launching in October 2012. The series has spawned eight manga adaptations published by ASCII Media Works and Kadokawa. The novels and four of the manga adaptations have been licensed for release in North America by Yen Press.
An anime television series produced by A-1 Pictures aired in Japan between July and December 2012. An Extra Edition episode aired on December 31, 2013, and a second anime series, titled Sword Art Online II, aired between July and December 2014. A video game based on the series, Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment, was released on PlayStation Portable in March 2013, with a second game, Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment for PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) released in April 2014. A third game, Sword Art Online: Lost Song, was released on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita in March 2015.
In the near future, a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online has been released where players can control their avatars through brain waves using technology called “NerveGear.” When players enter the game, they discover they cannot log out, as the game creator is holding them captive. To escape, players must beat the game by defeating each boss on all 100 floors; however, if they die in the game, they die in real life too. Their struggle for survival starts now…
Source: IBM official website