IBM Japan Announces Sword Art Online-Inspired Virtual Reality MMO Project

IBM announced today something rather interesting: Sword Art Online The Beginning Project, a “virtual MMO project” in collaboration with Kadokawa, Bandai Namco, Apniplex and more, inspired by the popular anime series.

Not much is known at the moment, besides the fact that the IBM’s cloud computing tech SoftLayer is involved, and the project aims to explore the idea of using cognitive computing (the simulation of human thought processes in a computerized model) for the future of gaming.

The protagonists of the anime Kirito and Asuna are also involved in some form, retaining their original voice actors.

The project, that has a teaser website and a trailer that you can see below, is recruiting 208 alpha tester in the Tokyo metropolitan area for a test to be held between March 18th and March 20th.

It’s worth mentioning that the site explains very little of what this actually is, so we’ll have to wait for this “alpha test” to know something more precise.

[Thanks for the tip: Masaru Aoyama]

Join the Discussion

  • Somerandomperson


    • Hoijima Mekiary

      The “IBM” Changes like E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
      We need some DARPA SAUCE and this will be just PURE GOLDEN.
      If they will not come up with some thing just glorious, no one will.

  • Bryan

    The game will be out in 2026. Don’t hold your breath xD
    Motion control for VR is no where near SAO level ):
    because there is no motion control in SAO… It’s brain waves!
    Well I guess if they are trying to pretend this technology is 6 years before SAO then according to SAO time it should be out in 2018.

  • RentALine

    ooooooh no ya dont you reptilians aint gettin in my brain!

    • ryan

      roflmao i died of laughter woke up everyone in house from this

  • tilt

    Lets see how far this goes.

  • Stranger On The Road

    wow, we will get some of the most advance AIs an NPC has ever had! Plus they plan to use VR, making it an true VRMMO…. damn! I wish I was part of this project!

    Most improve my skills to get a job in this project :-p

    • Facu Salas

      ME Too here! Just and noob new indie one guy companie right now hahaha

  • Maria Maasaa

    I don’t think so. I’m not having MY brain fried thankyouverymuch

  • Terminator

    It’s happening? I must be dreaming! Take me! Have my money!

  • Wow , it’s about time xD

  • Kelborne

    Finally, SAO getting a game that’s true to the source material. I can see it now.. Collecting waifus in VR. It’s beautiful.

  • Ch3stn4t


  • Netronader

    I am down to clown.

  • ryan

    if this becomes reality executes perfectly ill never take headset off till i beat game if i die in game im stuck in game for life never eat again as punishment roflmao im joking thats to extreme

    • Amyekaiser1

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  • Kirito

    How Much It Cost ?

    • Let me guess.
      Maybe 860$. Because you have to purchase Oculus Rift for 800$ and the game for 60 or 50$.

      • Shotglass

        Let’s not forget that forking out the money to meet the hardware requirements would probably up the total to somewhere between $1500-$1800 (perhaps more). With that said, VR won’t be a common thing to the average Joe before prices for recent CPUs, GPUs and the coming HMDs (like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) drops to a more consumer friendly level.

        • Steve Dowling

          800$ seems ok compared to a 2000 dollar buy, but I see where you coming from.

    • Stranger On The Road

      it is a research project, nothing is solid nor is their a public release date nor a list of the supported platforms! Way to early to ask about the cost!

      • Steve Dowling

        If anything we will find out May 18th-20th when the beta testers tried it out.

  • This sounds nuts.

  • LUCU

    i’m in

  • Solarnier

    They should go with .hack instead of this ripoff…..

    • The Dark Flame Master

      Piss off lol, SAO is great.

      • Jamie Kelemen

        Great or not, it’s still a rip off.

        • Lolander

          More like remix which rocked the long, depressing, vague, and dragged out original lol

        • Alexander Seidl

          All anime rips off something from anther at this point so what’s your real problem with SAO?

          • Jamie Kelemen

            There’s a difference between an anime having similarities and then blatantly stealing the entire concept.

        • Alexander Seidl

          Oh yes it copied so much from .hack such as being stuck in a game which no other animes did that oh wait No Game No Life is an anime that did that as well wasn’t it? Honestly just copying one thing doesn’t make it a rip off.

          • One-Eyed Hosoyamada

            No Game No Life was more of being transported into an alternate dimension, than inside a game. The premise might be similar if you compare a game into an alternate dimension(which is true, in a sense), but your comparison was wrong.

    • Alexander Seidl

      At this point all anime has ripped off one thing or anther from each other so stop complaining and enjoy the ride that and it’s easier to start off of something more recent than something from almost 20 years ago.

  • prepare for the motion sickness guys XD

    • Bleachedb0rren

      Good for me that i dont get motion sickness 😀

  • Gewd. This will be fun.

  • mee

    It has begun *-*

  • MakoRuu

    It begins…

  • Haikoto

    Its not full dive thought(the brain connect that give 5 sense to the game)so it wont be that good but its good enought for now…(it will take a long time)

  • Midorima Shintarou

    i hope i could play this nanodayo… so keep it up minna

  • Polkulotz

    Prefer for the flood of kirito wanabes

  • WTF

    I hope it wont be like vr plus keyboard ..

  • John Gamarcha

    get ready for new adventure awaits…..

  • Steve Dowling

    I cannot wait for this game to launch I even went to the offical website an it all seems legit had a beta signing an everything xD too bad i missed out would of loved to be one of the 208 people selected to play this in May! I hope all works out an this mmo becomes legit I wanna be a solo player DW like my man Kirito 🙂