The “Alpha Testing” for IBM’s Sword Art Online: The Beginning Project have recently been held in Tokyo, and they demonstrated IBM’s virtual reality capabilities with Reki Kawahara’s bestselling light novels. 208 lucky “Alpha Testers” were given the chance to try out IBM’s new virtual Reality Technology for “Project VRMMO,” and they just released a new video of one of these testers’ games.

Meanwhile, here is how the “Alpha Testing” looked like in real life, as the testers were battling it out against the monsters of Sword Art Online, as well as exploring the area around town:

However, it is best to take these tests with a grain of salt, as we have mentioned in an earlier article, this is more of a promotional event to demonstrate IBM’s virtual reality technology, rather than an actual project to make VRMMOs real.


10,000 people applied for the project, but in the end, only 208 were allowed to join the “Alpha Testing,” and these 208 testers participated in what was described to be a “20-minute marketing experience.” IBM is not really making VRMMOs though, as they were just presenting their VR capabilities with the help of SAO. However, these testers also seemed to enjoy the experience, even if it does not even come close to what we’ve seen in the SAO anime.