Summer Lesson, a rather unique offering among PSVR games, launched alongside the headset in Japan back in November. Now, come April 28th, the game will see a broader release into Southeastern Asia release with English subtitles, opening the door to enjoyment by those who don’t speak the game’s native Japanese language. Those in Western regions interested in the title may be able to download it as well.
IGN reports that during the Bandai Namco Entertainment Product Conference in Singapore this week, the company announced a new version of Summer Lesson which will come bundled with two DLCs, include English subtitles, and launch in Southeast Asian markets. The trailer below shows one of the DLC and its English subtitles:
While there aren’t currently plans for an official Western release of Summer Lesson, it’s expected that the game will be downloadable by US and EU PS4 players to via the PlayStation Store through a workaround.
Summer Lesson falls into the niche game genre of the dating sim. And while certainly more targeted toward Asia than the US and elsewhere, the game does something noteworthy as the first dating sim for PSVR; after trying an early version of the game, the level of immersion led me to feeling uncomfortable when I was placed close to the game’s characters, as though I was invading their personal space. I elaborated on why that discomfort was actually revealing of VR’s unique ability to immerse players:
As the scene moved along, the blonde-haired girl got out a Japanese study book and asked me to clarify some language for her. To do this she got even closer to me, leaned her head over right near mine and asked me to take a look at the book that she now held before us both.
This was every bit as awkward as walking up to a stranger on the street and putting my face inches away from theirs. And it made me feel like a total creep—something no form of media outside of VR has ever done.
There I was, in VR, worried about having invaded the personal space of a virtual character, and yet all the same, unable to turn off that natural human instinct despite knowing full well that she was nothing more than ones and zeros.
In my experience even the most immersive, well directed movie can’t reach out and make you personally—the person sitting in the audience—feel this way. The very best a big screen movie can do is to portray a character on the screen as such, but that still leaves the audience disconnected. Even in (non-VR) games, where the player has agency in a virtual world, there’s still a chasm between the identity of the player and the character that the player controls inside the game.
The incredible levels of immersion afforded by modern headsets like PlayStation VR can create these intimate human feelings like no media before. This is but one demonstration of virtual reality’s fundamental ability to connect with us on a human level, which will enable VR to convey personally emotional stories.