VR as fantasy fulfillment: HTC Vive owners can soon wield a lightsaber in Star Wars' Trials on Tatooine

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If you've ever fantasized about being a Jedi, VR can take you there better than any other medium. HTC announced today that the Star Wars Trials on Tatooine short game that we demoed at GDC will be available as a free download for HTC Vive owners starting on Monday.

Playing the Star Wars Trials on Tatooine demo at GDC was one of the most "magical" VR experiences we'd had at that point, fulfilling the dreams of many a child of the 70s or 80s (as well as today's youngsters, who are more familiar with The Force Awakens), as you wield a real-looking and real-feeling lightsaber inside a fully realized Star Wars universe world.

It's a short game, taking place not long after Return of the Jedi, and putting you in the robes of a young Jedi Padawan who is set for training on Luke's home planet of Tatooine. An unexpected visit from Han Solo and R2-D2 ensues, and before long you're using "an elegant weapon for a more civilized age" to dodge and deflect attacks from familiar Star Wars enemies.

Supporting the Vive's room-scale tracking, it's a quick burst of fantasy-fulfillment that should prove a treat for Vive owners.

Back in March, we understood that our GDC demo of the game was running on a ridiculously high-end graphics card, but an HTC representative told us the public version that launches on Monday should support all PCs that meet the Vive's minimum GPU (and other hardware) requirements: Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 or better. We'll update if we hear anything contrary to that.

As you might imagine, the game is the brainchild of a collaboration among HTC, Valve and Lucasfilm. Rob Bredow, Lucasfilm's chief technology officer, helmed the project, which he co-wrote with Star Wars canon-keeper Pablo Hidalgo.

For more, you can check out our GDC impressions of the game and our full review of the Vive.

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