VR SENSE (VR センス) is a virtual reality arcade machine and the first VR simulation machine in the world to include in-built gimmicks to stimulate the five senses. It was first announced on February 7, 2017, shortly before its first prototype was revealed to the public at the Japan Amusement Expo 2017. Development finished in June 2017. 1,000 models are planned to be spread throughout Japan.
Keiko Erikawa is the general producer who conceived and pushed for the project; she was met with immediate criticism from the start. The idea that it wouldn't able to make a profit was a common complaint. Kou Shibusawa even remarked that it would be best if Koei-Tecmo developers weren't involved with creating it. Erikawa asked for third-party builders who were experienced with virtual reality but met with various scheduling and resource setbacks that stalled progress for half a year.
Kazuyoshi Sakaguchi, director for the Tecmo brand, commented that the VR Sense was originally intended to celebrate Tecmo's 50th anniversary and development began in May 2016. Erikawa was struggling to find support for the project because few developers within Koei-Tecmo have had experience working with VR. When it was brought to the Koei Tecmo Wave creators, they had experience in arcade, pachinko, and pachislot production but not game development. On top of an already challenging situation, Erikawa would be stringent with having her creative ideas stick which added more pressure on the team towards completion. Michitaka Minami is the main planner and Hisanori Fujii is the project manager.
PS4 controllers are used for player interaction. PS Move was originally planned, but it was too difficult to fix the bugs and broke down frequently. Shibusawa suggested the change on the last day of his personal testing. Four key themes for its production are "peace of mind", "safety", a compact model for simple transport, and an experience that can be easily enjoyed without an attendant.
Within the first five days of its public debut, the VR SENSE surpassed 5,000 play sessions. In response to the positive feedback and player requests, Koei Tecmo Wave revealed their future plans to include curtains to all models, allow people to bring their own headphones, and improve the outside displays for quicker identification of the model type.
VR SENSE accommodates one person per model. The player wears VR headphones prior to experiencing their sequence. The 3D chair vibrates and moves according to the VR action, heaters and air conditioners replicate temperature changes, and head and feet pads are included to replicate when something touches the player. A fragrance machine simulates eight unique scents and doubles as a misting machine.
Controller commands are unique to each simulation. Movement registers through the analog sticks. Many actions are done through the trigger buttons.
The following people should refrain from using the VR SENSE due to safety concerns:
- Children who are 12 or under
- People who weigh over 110 kg (243 lbs)
- People who are in poor physical health
- People who have been drinking
- Women who are pregnant
People who wear glasses can keep them on while they use the VR headset, with the consideration that all glasses may or may not be compatible with the headset. They are also advised that the individual is solely accountable for the safety of their own glasses.
Each session permits users to play one of three available simulations for each model. One play session costs 800 yen.
Updates to the current models are planned to take place on the 22nd of every month (Nico Nico Day). Additions can include new scenarios, stages, items, costumes, music, and characters to either simulation. A very easy mode with no game overs will be added as a future update.
1. Chou Shin Sangoku Musou
Based on Dynasty Warriors 8 visuals. The player is given a sword and the mission to rescue a kidnapped princess. Choose Guan Yinping or Xu Shu as a partner for the fray. Fight through crowds with simplified commands.
- New partners will be added.
- New stage is planned.
2. G1 JOCKEY SENSE
First-person horse racing simulation. Race for a chance to qualify in the Japan Derby (three consecutive wins). Forcing the horse to speed up or slow down too many times may cause it to buck in protest. In the final stretch, the player can use a whip to gain more speed.
- The "King of Gold Mode" allows players to ride a golden horse along a golden track; players won't be allowed to see the true ending sequence but they can enjoy a relaxing VR experience.
- Added a guide function.
- Prize money is now displayed.
- Adds the option of hiding the display menu for better immersion.
3. DEAD OR ALIVE Xtreme SENSE
Based on Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 visuals. Play games with either Kasumi, Honoka, or Marie Rose. Win a game to increase affinity with selected character and to change their swimsuit. A higher grade rewards the player with a more intimate fan service sequence.
- Ayane will be added with ten new swimsuits.
- "Super Close-Up Mode" emphasizes a girl's breathing patterns and scent.
1. Chou Sengoku Coaster
First-person roller coaster through Warring States castles with interactive fight intermissions. Choose the time of day to decide a course. Select either an attack partner to help deal damage (Yukimura Sanada or Naotora Ii) or a healing partner to restore health (Mitsunari Ishida or Chacha). Reuses visual and sound assets from Samurai Warriors and Toukiden.
- The "King of Gold Mode" allows players to ride a golden track; players won't be allowed to see the true ending sequence but they can enjoy a relaxing VR experience.
- New course is planned.
- Lessen difficulty of the "Twilight" course.
- Adds the rifle as an alternative weapon.
2. 3 Majesty × X.I.P. DREAM☆LIVE
Tokimeki Restaurant☆☆☆ live concert simulation from either 3 Majesty or X.I.P. Most popular VR within the first five days of its public release. The player can change their camera angle and are scored by their ability to match the crowd's penlight waves to the music. Better scores reward a fan service Dream Mode sequence of the concert.
- Limited time early viewing of one song that will debut at Tokimeki Restaurant☆☆☆ 3 Majesty×X.I.P. LIVE -5th Anniversary Tour-. Window for viewing from the VR Sense is February 22~March 21.
- Adds the option to turn the score on or off.
- Starting on April 22, customers will receive character postcards on a first-come, first-served basis.
Joy Moba (ジョイモバ) is a smartphone service that is compatible with VR Sense models. Players can register with the service with their birthday to gain access to the following features:
- Ranking - charts the player's scores on a nationwide ranking chart. Does not count stats from Very Easy playthroughs.
- Photo Session - camera option for the player's favorite character or a victory screen. Printing options are available. Future plans include photo contests with exclusive prizes.
- Play Rally - secondary objectives and achievements for the games. Completing these objectives also unlocks rare content in the games.
- Limited Time Events - events within the service that celebrate the player's birthday, holidays, and other seasonal vacations.
Joy Moba users have first dibs for details regarding new titles or updates for the VR Sense.
A press conference to celebrate its public distribution was conducted December 19, 2017. Character charms are available for people who use either model. Erikawa, Sakaguchi, and Minami will appear for another press conference to announce the second phase of roll outs on February 19, 2018.
Another fifth anniversary celebration for Tokimeki Restaurant☆☆☆ is a keyword search for 3 Majesty × X.I.P. DREAM☆LIVE players who can gather keywords for a chance to receive special digital media for their smartphones. Another event is an original postcard giveaway to 50 participants. Both campaigns start February 10, 2018.
It was presented at Japan Amusement Expo 2018. Criticisms and reactions from overseas players were recorded and taken into consideration for a possible global release.
A trial run for both models will be available at the Digital Game Area from April 28 to 29, 2018.