Enhance Games’ Rez Infinite was well received when it arrived for PlayStation VR last year as a followup to the original Dreamcast title. Fans of the experience – and regular VRFocus readers – will also have heard of (or maybe even tried) the studio’s Synesthesia Suit, a device designed to enhance the experience with haptics. Development is continuing on the suit says creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi, past the current 2.0 version.
Mizuguchi spoke with PlayStation Blog Japan about Rez Infinite and the suit’s continued iterations since the original concept. While the original suit was designed specifically for Rez Infinite, it didn’t properly support the newer experimental Area X, which is where 2.0 comes in: (translated from Japanese) “I was thinking of integrating inner and outer first. Also, it was a big mission of 2.0 that we want Area X to be experienced in a suit. We have already announced overseas, and there was a big reaction in “SXSW 2017” (“South by Southwest”, music, movie, interactive festival held in Austin, USA).”
One of the main additions to the Synesthesia Suit 2.0 is its new vibration feedback, to better suit Area X: “I think I actually felt it, but I increased the type and made it a bit stronger. I’d like to add more improvements and I am continuing tuning.
“While the original “Rez” musicality is techno, Area X is more emotional and organic. Vibration design throughout the whole story is going on, but I think that it will be a very emotional experience once the ending is complete.”
The developer then reveals that he’s been having ideas for the next version, with a possible look to a possible home version (there’s only been one version of the suit shown at events). “The idea of 3.0 is also in my mind and I am thinking how to make it realized. Although ordinary games are often goal to be released, “Rez Infinite” is quite the opposite. Many things have started since the moment of release. I would like to extend the “Rez Infinite” VR experience by experiments of Sinastadia Suit. I think that I will definitely continue evolution in the future.”
“That’s still a secret. Because it stops stopping when it states (laugh). However, there are many things I want to do and I am gradually moving forward to realize it at the shortest.
“Although Sinastadia suit is studying in the form of industry-academia collaboration with Rysomatics and the Graduate School of Media Design Graduate School of Keio University, even if the content “Rez Infinite” is at the beginning, it is just for that But I also have a feeling for the future of VR.
“We will certainly come to this era when casual users can taste at home. How quickly can it be realized? Research on Sinastadia Suit may be a project for that.”
Such is the rarity of the Synesthesia Suit that if a consumer version was created the demand among PlayStation VR users would likely be great. At this point in time though that looks a long way off, but as VR develops and players want to be further immersed in virtual worlds with haptic feedback technology the suit could become an even more likely option.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Enhance Games and Rez Infinite, reporting back with any further updates.