Interesting goings-on over at IBM Japan, as they have launched a website (in Japanese of course) showcasing their plans for an alpha testing of a virtual reality game based on the Sword Art Online franchise.
This is pretty appropriate, considering Sword Art Online heavily centers around the virtual world of an MMORPG, although in the anime the players also end up getting stuck in said world so let’s hope that can be avoided here.
Called Sword Art Online: The Beginning, it seems that the completed game will utilize IBM Japan’s cognitive computer computing system “Watson”, as well as the cloud service SoftLayer. The trailer also shows the Oculus Rift DK2 being used, though it’s not known if that will be what is used when the game is finished or if it’s just being used for the alpha test.
In fact there’s not too much more information on what the game will be like or what it will entail, but one unique aspect is that during the alpha test players will have 3D scans made of their bodies as their actual avatar (which is in keeping with the Sword Art Online motif) and in place of a traditional game controller there will be some sort of motion controller which will allow players to use their bodies to interact with the virtual world.
The alpha test for Sword Art Online: The Beginning will be held in Tokyo, Japan starting March 18th and ending on the 20th. IBM Japan is accepting applications until March 4th, when 208 participants will be chosen.
Trailer via Sword Art Online The Beginning Project, YouTube