News Reporting

First Footage of IBM’s Sword Art Online VRMMO Hit The Web

Aincrad looks a bit… rougher than I expected.

Joking aside, IBM’s developerWorks published a 26-second clip from its Sword Art Online: The Beginning virtual reality game earlier today. The short teaser shows early footage of a player on a battlefield as he waggles a sword. A giant lycanthropic mob drops to the battlefield near the end of the clip.

IBM unveiled Sword Art Online: The Beginning on Feburary 22. The company intends to use the project as a showcase of IBM’s cognitive computing platform, as well as IBM Cloud Services and SoftLayer technology. The project’s website accepted applications for alpha testers through March 4. 208 fans were chosen via lottery to try the game from a pool of 99,800 applicants. The demonstration is being held at a location in Tokyo this weekend.

Participants are able to scan their bodies, which are then rendered as 3D avatars. Users can manipulate their player with a variety of accessories, including the Oculus Rift (visuals and head-tracking), Microsft’s Kinect 2 (Body movement), Leap Motion and Ovrvision (Hand movement detection), and special footwear known only as the “Nervegear prototype” that allows for foot tracking.

According to Anime News Network, early phases of the demo place players into a bazaar, which allows them to interact with in-game objects. Later stages see the player fightiing 74th floor boss Gleam Eyes with a trio of other users.

Sources: Anime News Network, Gematsu

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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