'Sword Art Online' Set to Get Own Virtual Reality Game; IBM Japan is Sponsor

"Sword Art Online" (SAO) is finally getting its own online virtual reality (VR) game sponsored by IBM Japan that will use a player's real 3D-scanned body.

IBM Japan has just announced that it is developing a virtual reality project called "Sword Art Online: The Beginning," which is the game adaptation of the popular anime and novel series. Although there have been other SAO video games in the past, none of them used VR, according to Geek.

It took almost seven years before a proper online gaming adaptation for the said game has been started. The title began in 2009 as a light novel series, which later on had manga and anime adaptations. The games that were released were all offline single-player action role-playing games. This is the first time that a proper recreation of the SAO world has been attempted, Forbes reports.

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The "Sword Art Online: The Beginning" creates a virtual reality MMO world using the company's Watson Cognitive Computing Tech and Softlayer Cloud Computing. Instead of the traditional game controller, the game will allow players to use hand gestures to execute actions, the report details.

SlashGear says "Sword Art online: The Beginning" will also support the VR headsets HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Players who want to get a feel of the game can join the event in Tokyo that will run from Mar. 18 to Mar. 20. They will get the chance to scan their bodies in 3D and be put into the game itself. The demo game will require 208 alpha testers, the report relays.

Game creator Reki Kawahara had already tried the demo for the technology and it really impressed him, the report adds.

IBM is leading the "Sword Art Online: The Beginning" with a little hand from Bandai Namco, Kadokawa, and Aniplex. As of now, there is still no confirmed release date for the new virtual reality game. More information on the game is expected to be announced after the alpha test.

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