MCV takes a look at Sony's renewed Invizimals push.
Invizimals: The Alliance on PS Vita and Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom on PlayStation 3 will be in stores on March 28th.
These two titles are the latest in Sony’s series of augmented reality video games. Invizimals is hugely popular in Europe, but never really took off in this country. The publisher is hoping these entries will gain traction in the UK. And this is part of a renewed push involving a TV?show, trading cards and toys.
The Lost Kingdom on the PS3 is the first home console Invizimals game. Players can turn into monsters they have encountered after defeating them. There are 16 creatures for fans to track down across six worlds.
The Alliance on PS Vita is a more traditional Invizimals title, with fans tracking down monsters in the real world using Sony’s new markerless augmented technology. There are also a number of mini-games that make use of the Vita’s extra controls. This title features over 140 creatures.
The two games are connected. Players can trade and fight using Cross-Play. Up to four fans can compete in cross-platform battles.
In addition, by completing tasks in the Vita title, players can unlock special abilities earlier on the PS3 game – as well as gaining access to exclusive creatures. And of course, fans can use the Vita to play the PS3 version if the TV?is being used.
The games are just one part of Sony’s plans for Invizimals.
IMC?holds the licence to make toys based on the brand, while Panini has been making trading cards.
In the spirit of the series, fans can upload their collections of trading cards and view 3D models of their creatures using the Hidden Challenges app, which is available on both iOS and?Android. So far over 30m units of the cards have been sold across the PAL?region.
Furthermore, the TV?Tracker app will allow fans to capture creatures from the upcoming TV?show.
Invizimals debuted in 2009 on the PSP and made use of the handheld’s portability and its camera attachment. The game had players hunting down monsters hidden in the real world that were only revealed by the console’s camera.
The first game inspired two sequels, Shadow Zone and The Lost Tribes. These added in new ways to play competitively and co-operatively as well as new creatures.
To date the series has sold 1.5m units in the PAL?region alone.
Sony is pushing its Invizimals almost exclusively with TV promotion. These ads are to occur in two bursts. The first will last for two weeks during the games’ launch period and will include 200 TVRs on kids TV. These will highlight the AR aspects of the title.
The second burst will last two weeks over Easter and will boast a further 270 TVRs. Not only is this to focus on Invizimals, but will also highlight other kids Vita titles such as Tearaway and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. This is to push Sony’s handheld towards a younger audience.
Furthermore, Sony is holding a press event at The Barbican. In attendance will be journalists and their children, and the publisher will be showing off the TV show, as well as handing out Vitas to kids so they can hunt Invizimals at the venue.