It’s been four years since I moved to Japan. Right as I moved here, the popularity of The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls had just started to reach its peak. A fan of the mobile game since its launch, I naïvely tried to apply to purchase concert tickets through a lottery using serial codes included with the CDs I had bought.
It’s been four long years. I still haven’t won the chance to buy tickets to attend a The iDOLM@STER concert. At Tokyo Game Show 2016, though, I got to experience the next best thing: a The iDOLM@STER concert in VR with The iDOLM@STER Viewing Stage.
After putting on the headset and headphones, I was transported into an arena filled with fans, each with glowsticks in their hands. It was then when I realized my purpose: I had to shake the two PlayStation Move controllers placed in my hands like glowsticks to cheer on the idols that had appeared on stage.
Unlike a normal patron, you have the power to change your standing position throughout the concert as much as you like. So, for example, if you want to see the cool idol Rin Shibuya from a better angle, you can use the controllers to move you to another part of the stage. However, just as with real-life idols, you can’t get on stage with them. There will always be a barrier between you and the girls.
Throughout the experience, you can change the colors of your glowsticks to match your favorite idol’s theme cooler and can even have multiple sticks in one hand to take your concert-viewing experience to the next level.
Although I was expecting to feel dizzy after using VR to view a concert, it felt like I was really there–I could turn my head to see my fellow fans cheering on the girls alongside me. I could look up at the girls as if I were right in front of the stage. Do I still want to go to a The iDOLM@STER concert? Of course! However, I consider The iDOLM@STER Viewing Stage as somewhat of a training experience for when I finally get the chance to go. Guess I have to go buy some glowsticks…
Development of The iDOLM@STER Viewing Stage is 80% complete for the PlayStation 4. It will be download-only, and will be available to purchase for 2,296 yen (about USD $22) on October 23.
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