Lenovo has once again teamed up with Disney to bring one of the studio’s iconic franchises to augmented reality (AR). After first launching the “Star Wars: Jedi Challenges” AR headset in 2017, the two companies are back with a new “Marvel Dimension of Heroes” experience running on slightly revamped hardware.
Now called the Lenovo Mirage AR headset, the device once again relies on a consumer’s phone, and an app that can be downloaded for free, to super-impose pictures over their view of the real world. “You are still grounded in your world,” said Lenovo senior product marketing manager Wahid Razali. “You are bringing the heroes into your space.”
And while the first iteration of the headset shipped with lightsaber controllers, this new version comes with a pair of more generic grip controllers that can be used to power a variety of games.
When Lenovo came out with the first iteration of the headset, the two companies tried a variety of games, including their own take on holochess. Turns out that players care a lot more about fighting Stormtroopers than playing chess in AR, which is why the two companies refocused on life-sized battles for their new collaboration.
In the case of “Star Wars: Jedi Challenges,” the game allows players to turn into Doctor Strange, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Star-Lord, and face off against adversaries like Loki and the Winter Soldier. “You’ll be playing as iconic heroes fighting iconic villains,” said Razali.
In addition to a story mode that allows those one-on-one face-offs, the game also supports a survival mode that tasks players with fighting back waves of enemies, and a co-op mode that lets multiple players team up, and compete for the highest score. The latter naturally requires multiple headsets, which won’t come cheap: At launch, the new Lenovo Mirage AR headset retails for $249.99.
For that price, consumers also get access to the previous “Star Wars: Jedi Challenges” game. However, anyone who bought the “Star Wars” edition of the headset won’t be able to turn themselves into Black Panther that easily. Instead, they’ll have to get their hands on a set of universal controllers first — which aren’t available for sale on their own just yet. “The option for consumers to purchase the AR Universal Controllers will be coming to consumers in the near future,” clarified a Lenovo spokesperson.
The move towards more universal controllers, and the branding of the headset as “Mirage AR” also suggests that Lenovo may be working on ways to get additional to the device. Razali declined to comment on the company’s future plans, but one could imagine a number of other games that could work well on this platform — including, perhaps, a few more iconic Disney heroes.