Virtual reality air guitar is coming in 2021

The future is now.

Air Guitar

Image: Unplugged VR via YouTube

Following on from the announcement of the project this year, Vertigo Games has announced that it will publish the guitar-based virtual reality rhythm game Unplugged: Air Guitar in 2021.

The game, being developed by new newly formed virtual reality studio Anotherway, will arrive on the standalone VR system Oculus Quest. It takes after similar games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, where you take the place of a guitarist and hit a set of buttons in time with a simplified representation of the current song’s notation. However, where the ‘Air’ in the game’s title comes in is also what sets it apart from its predecessors: it will use the Oculus Quest’s in-built hand tracking system to register inputs, rather than buttons on a physical controller.

You can see the tracking and gameplay in action in a preview video Anotherway has posted below, where Searching for the Truth by The Electric Alley is uploaded into a virtual practice studio and fired at the would-be air guitarist’s fretting hand as a stream of colourful notes.

Following the revelation of the game’s planned release window marketing director at Vertigo Games, Kimara Rouwit, said in a statement: “Like many in the VR community, from players to creators, we were impressed by the tempting live gig atmosphere, 80s music fanzine art style and innovative air guitar gameplay shown in the first Unplugged gameplay teasers that circulated online earlier this year.

“We’re excited to officially bring aboard the talented Anotherway team and are fully geared towards helping them realise their as-of-yet-unrevealed ambitions for Unplugged, which will see them elevate their great gameplay concept in exciting ways.”

“What started out as a passion project seemed to grab the attention of many VR media and content creators, and we soon realized that the project had much potential and we needed a partner to help us bring it to life,” added Julia Casal, Producer at Anotherway. “By partnering with Vertigo Games we are able to scale up the project and pursue our ambitious goals. The experience has been wonderful so far and we are extremely motivated to start the journey of working on Unplugged along with them.”

As Rouwit notes, the ways in which the gameplay might be elevated are yet to come to light – but as it takes place in the virtual realm, anything is possible. Currently, Unplugged is slated for its Oculus Quest launch in Q3 2021.

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