A new game system rarely delivers everything promised, whether that system’s the PlayStation 2 or the Virtual Boy. The trend of “augmented reality,” however, is paying off. Nintendo’s 3DS already uses AR Cards and the system’s camera to superimpose game characters into real-world viewpoints. Sony’s eager to do the exact same thing with the Vita, which hit Japan last week.
It all looks terribly impressive, though most of the Augmented Reality uses shown seem more like novelties than genuine gameplay improvements. Waging a tank battle on your bookshelf looks fun, but will it really improve on a backdrop that was actually designed for gameplay? Will racing hovercraft across the dinner table be as much of a draw as games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Lumines: Electronic Symphony, and the amazing-looking Gravity Rush? Probably not, but it’ll be a great way to show off your new Vita. It’ll also be downright horrifying when Augmented Reality falls into the wrong hands. Everyone in the video suggests creative uses for the technology, but I’m sure some developer is already using it to craft a Vita dating simulator of the worst kind.