If there’s one franchise that embodies virtual reality (VR) technology and the idea of the metaverse then it has to be Sword Art Online. A novel series created by Reki Kawahara that’s been spun into films, videogames and more, this week fans can truly delve into this popular franchise thanks to a new event called Sword Art Online -EX-CHRONICLE- Online Edition; viewable in VR of course.
Split across five areas, the event is set to feature both interactive and non-interactive content all depending on how you plan on accessing Sword Art Online -EX-CHRONICLE- Online Edition. For example, in the free “Boss Battle” arena VR users will have full motion controller support to shoot and defeat the boss or they can enjoy activities like competitive wall climbing with friends.
From the look of it, VR is not only the most immersive way to get the best out of the event it’s the aptest, considering SAO is built around virtual worlds. Heck, the series even inspired one Japanese startup to develop its own headset that could be used whilst laying down in bed.
There will also be a 4-sided screen theatre video experience, a live performance by ReoNa; plenty of anime material on display and limited edition merchandise sales if you love some SAO merch. As any Sword Art Online fan knows, the novel’s plot begins in 2022 so now is the perfect time for a retrospective whilst awaiting what comes next.
Fully sponsored by Sony and organized by Sony Music Solutions Inc., Sword Art Online -EX-CHRONICLE- Online Edition offers both ticketed and free areas. If you’re purchasing a ticket the most expensive at ¥3800 YEN (approx. £24 GBP) grants you access to the VR app. Or there’s one for ¥3300 (£21) for PC and smartphone users. Oh, and before you purchase anything be aware that the event is open to those in Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, and the US.
When it comes to the VR app this is solely designed for PC VR users as they’ll need a SteamVR account to download it. Details on how to install can be found here.
Sword Art Online -EX-CHRONICLE- Online Edition runs from 22nd February at 1pm (JST) to 11th March 2022, 4:59 PM (JST). For further updates keep reading gmw3.