Preview: SEGA feat. Hatsune Miku Project on PlayStation VR

An oddity in the PlayStation VR line-up, SEGA feat. Hatsune Miku Project is a stage performance experience with minimal interactivity. It’s still a videogame, though only in the loosest definitions of the word, and exactly how this experience would be fleshed-out into a full release remains to be seen. Regardless, SEGA feat. Hatsune Miku Project remains a very intriguing preview title for the recently renamed PlayStation VR head-mounted display (HMD).

SEGA feat. Hatsune Miku Project casts the player as a spectator as the star of the piece, Hatsune Miku, takes centre stage to dance to a popular song by Mitchie M. This character model is of a remarkably high standard: solid looking, colourful and elegantly animated. The crowd that surround you however, are merely silhouettes. An artistic decision to reduce potential distraction from the star you may think, given their simple looping animation, but in reality it was possibly an attempt to minimise any issues with rendering Hatsune Miku in stereoscopic 3D, especially given that SEGA feat. Hatsune Miku Project is the first virtual reality (VR) demo SEGA has produced for PlayStation VR.

 SEGA feat. Hatsune Miku Project screenshotSEGA feat. Hatsune Miku Project screenshot

During the sequence in which the players acts as part of the crowd they are invited to wave the PlayStation Move controller in time with the music at predetermined points. There is no score and seemingly little-to-no reaction to doing this in time or incorrectly, barely approaching the context required for interactivity.

The second half of this demo version of SEGA feat. Hatsune Miku Project places the player on stage, with Hatsune Miku dancing directly to you. VRFocus was informed that during this sequence movement of the PlayStation Move controller can adjust certain aspects of the presentation, such as the colour of the lighting, though it was hard to decipher exactly what effect movement of the device and presses of the Move button had on the experience. If there was any effect, it was most certainly a very delayed one.

The high grade of visual quality for Hatsune Miku doesn’t exactly stand as a reason to be excited for SEGA feat. Hatsune Miku Project. The low level of interactivity and the lack of any depth in the experience beyond a baked character model’s animations make SEGA feat. Hatsune Miku Project a lukewarm VR experience that will be best witnessed once and once only. Intriguing? Yes. Important? Far from it.