HTC Vive and Bandai Namco are bringing anime to VR

Virtual reality chatrooms are about to get even geekier.

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

In a move that will surely delight every tech-obsessed otaku out there, HTC Vive and Bandai Namco have announced a partnership to bring popular anime experiences into VR. Specifically, the two companies plan to make anime content available on the Viveport storefront, and potentially as part of the Viveport Infinity subscription plan. Despite its name, Viveport is open to most VR headsets, including Oculus Rift and Quest (with a link cable), Windows Mixed Reality devices and the Valve Index.

On top of delivering traditional anime shows or single-player games, HTC Vive says the partnership will involve developing and distributing resources across both companies. Not surprisingly, they also plan to collaborate on content around new series. Basically, the deal serves as a gateway into VR for Bandai Namco, and a way for HTC Vive to cultivate a devoted fandom. Anime content can also open up new platforms to more users in Japan, just look at how much Oculus has pushed its exclusive Little Witch Academia game on the Quest.

In particular, the companies want to give anime fans a way to relive their shows in virtual reality. Ozaki Masayuki, President and CEO of Bandai Namco Pictures, said in a statement: "By combining the original animation planning and production know-how that we have cultivated over the years with HTC's advanced technological capabilities and strength as a communications platform, we will be able to create an environment where fans can enjoy experiences together, transcending physical limitations, as if they were diving directly into the world of our creations from anywhere in the world.”

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