In 2001, together with my team at Sega, I made a game called Rez.
It was not your typical game. It’s a bit hard to explain in words, actually… you’re better off seeing (and hearing) it for yourself:
What do you think? Looks cool, right?
Well, to be honest, when the original Rez came out back in 2001, not everyone understood what we were trying to do with the game — but the few people that did “get it,” really got it. A dedicated and steadily growing number of fans called it visionary. Revolutionary. Ahead of its time.
With Rez Infinite, I feel like that time has finally come.
Now, almost 15 years later, it feels like the perfect time to introduce our game to a whole new generation of PlayStation hardware, and to a new generation of gamers, who I know are more open to experiences that don’t fit the traditional molds (and with today’s more flexible game pricing at retail and online, at a price that we can all feel good about).
And, of course, very soon — and most personally exciting — we will have excellent quality, truly mass-market VR with PlayStation VR.
When I started working at Sega in the 1990s, I got involved in some arcade game VR projects like “Virtuality” and “Sega Rally Special Stage.” VR in those days was bulky, blurry, and slow. It was clear the technology wasn’t ready yet, but even that small taste had me dreaming of what might someday be possible.
Speaking of bulky and blurry, Rez was released at a time when most home console games were played on small 4:3 ratio tube TVs, with fuzzy pictures and sound that was barely stereo. It’s only playing Rez Infinite on a PS4, especially in VR mode but even on a nice, big, modern flat screen (Rez Infinite can be played both as a normal game or in VR, your choice), that the game comes closest to what we saw in our heads when we were creating it: vivid colors that blend seamlessly into one another, crystal-clear textures, and razor-sharp lines only possible at full 1080p HD, all swimming around you at the speed-of-life 60 frames per second (120 frames per second in PS VR), with full 3D audio (PS VR) or 7.1 surround sound (PS4) that, well, truly surrounds you.
I know to some people that’s all just a bunch of numbers and technical mumbo-jumbo — and in a way, I agree. The only thing important about that technology for Rez Infinite is how it makes you feel; hopefully, it makes it easier to forget the fact that you’re sitting in front of a TV playing a game, and instead lets the real world melt away into a swirl of incredible sights and sounds that could only ever exist in your imagination.
That’s exactly how we want players to feel — that they aren’t just playing Rez Infinite, they’re living it. Rez Infinite is the futuristic “synesthesia” experience I’ve wanted to create from the beginning.
Engaging all your senses was also the idea behind the original Trance Vibrator, an optional peripheral we designed to plug into PS2 and pulse along to the beat of the music and sound effects in the original Rez. Since we’re now making the ultimate version of Rez with Rez Infinite, we thought, why not also make the ultimate version of the Trance Vibrator? And thus, the Synesthesia Suit was born.
This one you don’t just need to see and hear, but also really need to feel for yourself. This is a special promotional item and there will only ever be one of these in the world. If you’re one of the lucky few, you can try it at PlayStation Experience!
If not, hopefully there’ll be other opportunities in the future — as there will be to talk more about our plans for (and all the features of) Rez Infinite, very soon.
Our time is coming, my friends. I hope you’ll be there for it.