Your favorite childhood game jumps on the virtual reality bandwagon.
It looks like Hasbro is attempting to get in on the VR craze with their own head-mounted entertainment device. The only difference is that where VR headsets such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are designed to transport you to different virtual worlds to explore, this headset is designed to purely play the game Simon. That’s it… So if you’re a die-hard fan of color-matching memory games or just enjoy waving your hands in front of your face like John Cena, then boy do I have the perfect toy for you.
Available this fall, the Simon Optix (oh I get it!), is a wearable device that fits snugly atop the players head, projecting color patterns they’ll need to mimic right in front of their faces via a transparent visor. Much like Hasbro’s previous variation, Simon Air, motion sensors in the headset detect hand gestures in front of the display, removing the need for physical buttons. Instead, players make their selections by swiping their hands at different positions in front of the device. So if you wanted to select red for instance, simply wave your hand quickly in front of the left side of the headset. To select green, hover a hand in front of the right side. That pretty much covers the entire control scheme.
What’s really cool are color LED’s that fill the visor with red, blue, green and yellow depending on which you selected. The headset also uses local infrared signals to connect between devices, making this the first iteration of the classic game to feature head-to-head multiplayer.
Overall the the Simon Optix is an interesting attempt by Hasbro to capture some of the excitement currently surrounding virtual reality and augmented reality. New features such as the head-mount and local multiplayer are solid attempts at mixing up the formula without changing the fundamentals of the actual game. It’ll be exciting to see if smaller companies follow the lead of this corporate giant and begin implementing VR-style versions to their own preexisting games.