The VR juggernaut continues to lumber ever onwards, with IBM Japan announcing a collaboration with Kadokawa to create a VR MMO based on the Sword Art Online franchise. Though the specific details are unknown, the project will make use of SoftLayer, IBM’s cloud computing technology, and focus on the concept of cognitive computing.
The Sword Art Online series, which started as a light novel, and later received an anime adaptation and a string of video games, quickly garnered fans worldwide. The simple concept of humans trapped in a video game world is ample ground for a VR title, though the specific nature of the collaboration is unknown. The voice actors for protagonists Kirito and Asuna will be participating in the project, so at the very least, their presence seems likely.
The short announcement trailer states that body motion will control player movement in-game, though the extent of this feature remains to be seen. An alpha test period is set to take place in Tokyo from March 18th to 20th, with a test pool of 208 participants. No announcement of release date or console has been made, but more information is sure to follow from the alpha test.