Disney announced they have multiple Star Wars AR game experiences in progress during their “Level Up!” gaming panel presentation at the D23 Expo this weekend. The upcoming Star Wars: Jedi Challenges gives fans the opportunity to slip into the robes of a Jedi with a series of games that allow the player to enjoy a game of holochess or fire up their own personal lightsaber.
To make these fan dreams a reality, Disney has partnered with Lenovo to make a new augmented reality headset. Smartphones can be attached to the headset in a fashion that appears somewhat similar to Samsung’s Gear VR. Further details about the headset, including pricing and availability, have yet to be revealed. It is also not clear if any other peripherals are going to be necessary for specific games or some of the Jedi-themed experiences.
Regarding the games, a sneak peak of the augmented reality lightsaber experience shows only the very basics of the gameplay. Players get to activate a lightsaber, then hack and slash away at enemies — an activity that could be just as simple as it sounds, which might not be a bad thing if the game and new headset technology can truly emulate a fantasy experience and make it feel like reality for the player.
The other game coming from a galaxy far, far away to Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is a recreation of the holochess game that made its first appearance in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Although it is briefly shown, the game has become a fan favorite.
During the livestream, the developers noted that holochess was the inspiration for their push into AR gaming in the first place, as the technology offered an opportunity make a real-world version of the game possible. While an exact replica of the game exactly as it appears in the films may not be possible since a headset may be required, it’s the closest the team has come so far.
A release date for Star Wars: Jedi Challenges has not been announced. Those eager to be among the first to try it out can sign up for updates on the game’s progress at www.jedichallenges.com or Lenovo’s website. According to the site, the headset is “coming soon” to Best Buy and Lenovo.com.
[Featured Image Disney Interactive Media]