As far as Sega Dreamcast titles go, Space Channel 5 is one of the console’s many rare gems. Released in Japan in 1999 and North America in 2000, the player takes on the role of Ulala, a young space reporter tasked with saving innocent hostages from being forced to dance by the alien Morolians. The game was received quite well upon release, and remains a hallmark of the troubled console’s library. And as Tokyo Game Show 2016‘s events approach, Sega is partnering up with Japanese telecommunication company KDDI to pay tribute to the Space Channel 5 series with a brand new virtual reality demo on display.
Entitled Space Channel 5 VR: Ukiuki Viewing Show, the VR demo will allow players to watch Ulala’s news show as if they were an actual viewer, according to a post by Polygon. Using the HTC Vive, the demo is one of many planned for this month’s Tokyo Game Show, including a dart-throwing minigame and a virtual meeting space that allows first-person communication from different locations.
Besides the basic structure of Space Channel 5 VR: Ukiuki Viewing Show and the use of the HTC Vive, not much else is known about the demo. Nonetheless, its creation makes sense. Sega has been getting nostalgic over the past few months, between the remastered release of Valkyria Chronicles earlier this year and the Sonic Mania reveal during the Sonic 25th Anniversary Party. Space Channel 5 was released over 15 years ago, so it only makes sense to bring back a beloved part of Sega’s Dreamcast years with a virtual reality setup.
Of course, one wonders if Sega will take a long-term interest in virtual reality over the next couple months. Now might not be the best time. A recent Steam survey suggests virtual reality sales are declining, with absolutely zero growth among HTC Vive users in August 2016. Whether Sega is interested in investing in VR software has yet to be seen, but if anything, it’s nice to see a small tribute to a beloved Dreamcast classic.