Sword Art Online is a virtual reality massively multiplayer online role-playing game that isn’t really a virtual reality massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But it might be soon.
Okay, back up. What I mean to say is that this is a popular anime and manga series set in the year 2022 in which the titular MMORPG traps players inside its virtual worlds. The real game doesn’t exist, then, but the premise has had VR fans begging for an adaptation for headsets for some time. Even Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey has referenced the series a few times over the past few years.
Fans can rejoice, then; an official Sword Art Online VR experience is coming, but not on Luckey’s Rift, nor HTC’s Vive or PlayStation VR. The experience is actually coming to eye-tracking underdog, FOVE 0.
Or at least it is in Japan and Korea. FOVE recently posted a web page for the experience, complete with the art you see above, though it’s impossible to work out much about it unless you speak fluent Japanese. Manga.Tokyo, however, reports that the experience is called Meet Asuna FOVE VR Home, and will promote the upcoming Sword Art Online: The Movie, due for release in Japanese cinemas next month.
Asuna herself is one of the characters in the series, and will appear in the experience as seen in the images in this article. You can interact with her using the headsets eye-tracking tech: she’ll smile when you pay attention to her and get angry when you don’t. It’s far from a full Sword Art Online VR game, then, but it’s better than nothing for fans of the series.
The app will go live next Tuesday, January 31st, and be available until the end of July 2017. We’ve reached out to FOVE about the possibility of a western release.
FOVE 0 itself started shipping to Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers this week.