Either as part of the ongoing IFA festivities or in prep for Force Friday II, Lenovo has just announced a product together with Disney. Called Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, it's an augmented reality Star Wars game that will have you flapping about a lightsaber replica as you fight villains like Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. Let's hope there's a wrist strap.
It is a tiny bit confusing, as Lenovo and Disney aren't making much of a distinction between the game and the hardware included. Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is powered by Lenovo's Mirage AR headset, which is pretty much just a holder with lenses for your phone. There's also a tracking beacon, and the aforementioned lightsaber, which has a very detailed-looking handle and a light affixed on its business end.
The hardware is, thankfully, compatible with both Android phones and iPhones. So although you might need to pick up this kit to play, you won't need to own a Lenovo phone. The game features both lightsaber battles, a RTS-like strategy game mode, and "Holochess." Engadget has a hands-on that shows off what each of the modes looks like if you're interested.
There's no price set as of yet, and the press release states that it will vary in different markets. Availability is set for November. Lenovo claims you can pre-order it right now, but the company's website currently just links to a form to register for notifications. The early announcement is a surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.
Half of you are probably thinking, "why?" while the other half have already rearranged your furniture to get the high ground. I've got to admit, it looks like fun.
STAR WARS™: JEDI CHALLENGES, A NEW SMARTPHONE-POWERED AUGMENTED REALITY EXPERIENCE LAUNCHING THIS HOLIDAY
STAR WARS EXPERIENCES BROUGHT TO LIFE WITH THE LENOVO MIRAGE™ AR HEADSET, LIGHTSABER CONTROLLER, AND ALL-NEW GAMEPLAY CONTENT FROM A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW ON LENOVO™ ONLINE AND AT LOCAL RETAILERS1; COMPATIBLE WITH ANDROID™ PHONES AND IPHONES®
BERLIN — August 31, 2017: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) and Disney today unveiled Star Wars™: Jedi Challenges, a new augmented reality Star Wars product that allows fans to experience Star Wars in ways never before possible. Jedi Challenges features a smartphone-powered Lenovo Mirage AR headset, Tracking Beacon, Lightsaber controller, and hours of Star Wars gameplay.2 Jedi Challenges is being unveiled as part of Force Friday II, which celebrates the worldwide launch of new Star Wars products. The product is compatible with both Android phones and iPhones, will be available this holiday season and is available for pre-order now on Lenovo online and at local retailers.1
“With Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, Lenovo and Disney are bringing Star Wars to fans in ways they could previously only imagine,” says Jeff Meredith, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Lenovo Consumer PCs and Smart Devices. “Augmented reality has always been an important part of Star Wars, and it’s exciting to bring these key moments to life by marrying Lenovo technology with Disney’s storytelling.”
Players will hone their Jedi talents across a variety of augmented reality-based experiences, each offering multiple levels of deep and immersive gameplay. To guide the player on this journey, Jedi Challenges will introduce an all-new Star Wars character, the Archivist. The Archivist instructs players in the ways of the Force™ and the knowledge of the Jedi. Throughout these challenges, users will train to perfect their lightsaber skills by taking on some of the most menacing villains the dark side has to offer, command armies in combat missions to defeat the Empire, and outwit their opponents in Holochess, all in augmented reality.
Lightsaber Battles. With their very own lightsaber, fans can train against legendary dark side villains like Kylo Ren and Darth Vader.
Strategic Combat. Players marshal the forces of the Republic, Rebel Alliance, and Resistance against the might of the Separatists, Empire, and First Order in epic battles across their living room floors. Players can hone their skills in strategy and tactics as they engage in battles.
Holochess. Perhaps one of the most iconic board games brought to film, Holochess first leapt into moviegoer hearts when it was played on the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope™. It has now been brought to life in Jedi Challenges. Fans can direct their holographic alien pieces across the board, wrestling for territory and control.
“We believe augmented reality will usher in a new era of storytelling and play an important role in the experiences we create for our fans,” said Kyle Laughlin, Senior Vice President, Games and Interactive Experiences, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. “With Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, we’re bringing together the latest technology and one of the most recognized franchises in the galaxy to fulfill the wishes of anyone who’s ever wanted to wield a lightsaber or take on empire forces on the battlefield.”
Hardware and technology
Users start by downloading the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges app3 onto their compatible phone and sliding the phone into the tray of the Lenovo Mirage AR headset. Sleek, portable and lightweight, the Lenovo Mirage AR headset will provide full gaming immersion with an optimal level of comfort during gameplay. The headset also comes with a Tracking Beacon, which is placed on the floor and acts as a stable base for the headset’s sensors to detect the user’s movement during gameplay.
Equipped with two built-in fisheye sensors to provide inside-out positional tracking, the headset allows for free and natural motion for the player to move around as they duel opponents or direct their forces and pieces across the battlefield.
The headset pairs with a collectible-quality Lightsaber controller, modeled after the one wielded by Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, and Rey. Designed to be a key part of the experience, the Lightsaber acts as a controller and pointer, allowing players to navigate the user interface, with all controls, actions and commands activated with a simple two-button configuration.
Through visible light-tracking technology, the headset’s sensors work together to lock onto the position of the Lightsaber controller, allowing players to see a beam form above the “hilt”, which they can use to block and interact with the universe in-game. Haptic feedback is activated as players strike or block their opponents, while an inertial measurement unit sends rotational information from the controller to the smartphone to assist the beam in remaining stable mid-swing.
Availability and pricing
Pricing and availability for Star Wars: Jedi Challenges will vary from country to country and the product will be available beginning in November in certain markets.1
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a $43 billion global Fortune 500 company and a leader in providing innovative consumer, commercial, and enterprise technology. Our portfolio of high-quality, secure products and services covers PCs (including the legendary Think and multimode Yoga brands), workstations, servers, storage, smart TVs and a family of mobile products like smartphones (including the Motorola brand), tablets and apps. Join us on LinkedIn, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@Lenovo) or visit us at www.lenovo.com.
About Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media
Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) that brings our Company’s stories and characters to life through innovative and engaging physical products and digital experiences across more than 100 categories, from toys and t-shirts, to apps, books and console games. DCPI comprises four main lines of business: Global Licensing, Disney Retail, Publishing and Digital Media, and Games, Apps, and Labs. The segment is home to world-class teams of app and game developers, licensing and retail experts, a leading retail business (Disney Store), artists and storytellers, and technologists who inspire imaginations and bring the magic of Disney into the daily lives of families and fans around the world.
About Force Friday II
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is the latest example of Disney and Lucasfilm bringing augmented reality experiences to Star Wars fans. The product is being unveiled on Force Friday II (September 1), which marks the worldwide launch of new Star Wars products. As part of Force Friday II, Disney and Lucasfilm are launching Find the Force, a global augmented reality treasure hunt that will span three days. Find the Force aims to unite fans around the world in a unique battle against the dark side, and will take place at over 20,000 retail locations across 30 countries.
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges spec sheet, images and videos at: http://news.lenovo.com/IFA2017
Pre-order now at www.jedichallenges.com.
1 Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is available for pre-order now on Lenovo online and at select local retailers. Local pricing and availability will vary by country and the product will be available beginning in November in certain markets.
2 For list of compatible smartphones, please visit www.jedichallenges.com
3 Available at jedichallenges.com/app
LENOVO and LENOVO MIRAGE are trademarks of Lenovo. STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd. ANDROID is a trademark of Google Inc. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2017, Lenovo Group Limited.