In San Francisco this week, the Game Developers Conference is taking place and there’s one thing on everyone’s mind: virtual reality.
We’ve discussed the roaring rise of the newest form of consumer tech entertainment and how that affects a Disney-interested audience. For those fortunate enough to attend the conference, they had the opportunity to be among the first people to try another Disney-branded Star Wars VR gaming product.
It’s called Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine and it was revealed as a new experience for virtual reality users. You simply strap on a VR headset, hold a “lightsaber”, and begin to protect the Millennium Falcon from Stormtroopers who are very interested in not letting it take off. You’ll feel like you’re blocking blaster fire and reverting it back at the enemy.
The Trials on Tatooine VR experience is part of another series of projects that the folks at ILMxLab have been putting out for a few years now. As their name suggests, they are more focused on creating the next generation of Lucasfilm entertainment products through research and development. Their first public project was the Jakku Spy series that allowed VR users to experience a static environment. The Trials on Tatooine game actually lets you interact with that environment through a lightsaber.
The lightsaber battle is just another “experiment”, said Lucasfilm executive planner Vicky Dobbs Beck in an interview with The Verge. “We learned a lot about first-person storytelling — about how you balance interaction with story — and that’ll be valuable information as we conceive our future experiences.”
While those future VR experiences remain under tight lip, Lucasfilm and ILMxLab do seem to have big plans for VR and their Star Wars worlds. We could explore the setting of a Star Wars film or TV show by watching an extended scene in VR or by battling the bad (or good) guys with lightsabers.
In the meantime, if you’re looking to experience Trials of Tatooine yourself now, hope you must have. Since this is an experiment, ILMxLab believes that it most likely will only be available to those special Jedi at conventions and special Star Wars events. However, that doesn’t mean this will be the last time you experience Star Wars in VR!
“We are starting to see the first high-quality virtual reality headsets hitting the market this year,” said ILMxLab’s Rob Bredow. “We are currently in development on experiences beyond this small experiment that we think people will really enjoy as immersive entertainment becomes readily available in the home.”
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