There’s no shortage of virtual reality headsets on the market. But Lenovo and Disney are making a pretty strong case for one more with the introduction of the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges system.
First teased in July, it’s up for pre-order from Best Buy for $200 and should be available from Lenovo.com soon and the augmented reality system should ship in November.
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges consists of a Lenovo Mirage AR headset, a tracking beacon, and a lightsaber controller. You also need a compatible smartphone, which runs the Jedi Challenges app. But the hardware Lenovo built should do a pretty good job of providing a richer experience than you’d get from other phone-based systems like Google’s Daydream View or Samsung’s Gear VR.
That’s because the Lenovo headset includes two fisheye lenses that are used for inside-out position tracking, allowing the app to detect your movement through space. And the external tracking beacon placed on the floor communicates with the headset to help stabilize the tracking.
Meanwhile, the controller… well, it looks like a lightsaber. This is pretty much exactly what VR and AR was made for.
The Star Wars: Jedi Challenges app offers three experiences:
- Lightsaber battles lets you train against villains from the series including Darth Vader and Kylo Ren.
- Strategic combat has you planning battles against the Separatists, Empire, or First Order… with your living room (or other environment) acting as the field of battle.
- Holochess recreates the 3 dimensional virtual board game from Episode IV.
At launch, the VR system is compatible with the iPhone 6s and later, Samsung Galaxy S7 and later, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, and Motorola Moto Z. Support for additional devices is on the way.
The Lenovo Mirage AR headset weighs just over a pound, and the lightsaber controller is just under 10 ounces and has power, blade, and force buttons.