Surprise: A pretty affordable VR DJ performance game drops next week, and it’s full of super-chill synthetic visualizations that make for a trancelike experience allowing anyone to remix songs by artists like The Chainsmokers, Tiesto, or ODESZA on the fly (somewhat literally, thanks to the immersive nature of VR).
Survios — the developer behind VR shooter Raw Data and race simulator Spring Vector — announced on Tuesday that its immersive VR DJ experience Electronauts would be released on August 7 at 3 p.m. Eastern for PSVR simultaneously with Steam and Oculus Home for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
I had the pleasure of testing an early build of Electronauts last December and yet again this July ahead of release. Electronauts has a “Music Reality Engine” that essentially “allows anyone to perform and produce great music that’s always on key and never skips a beat.” Imagine if autotune could be applied to rhythm, ensuring that music always sounds good. Even when I tried deliberately to mess up, the end product was still rocketing out good vibes.
I’d glide blissfully through underwater caverns or rocket through outer space, placing various simplified DJ toolkits onto three different tables and jamming out to my heart’s content.
Here’s a clip of me messing around with Max Styler’s “All Your Love” in which I mostly goof around at the beginning before getting into a groove:
Now take a look at what I do when I get a bit more serious with “I Wish I Could” by TOKiMONSTA feat. Selah Sue:
Perhaps the best part of Electronauts is its accessibility. It sits firmly in between hardcore DJ simulators and more laid back music visualizer experiences like Beat Saber. The most comparable game might be something like TheWaveVR but that experience is more geared towards performers looking to share their talents in social virtual environments.
“Electronauts changes the way people interact with music, turning passive music lovers into active music creators,” a press release from Survios reads. In practice, Electronauts seemingly delivers on that.
Even for people like me with no musical talent and an anxious aversion to public performance, Electronauts can make you feel like a legit music performer, even if it’s ultimately a series of tools that simplify music remixing.
Pretty much every single VR game developer likes to tout the phrase “immersion.” That’s the entire point of virtual reality. How do you trick the player into forgetting that they’re in a virtual world and have a big headset strapped to their face with little plastic sticks in their hand? Most theories assume you need lighter headsets and haptics technology like in Ready Player One to mitigate the physical cues that draw you out of the experience. But there’s something to be said for simple interactive experiences that are fun enough that you forget entirely.
It helps that so much of the music is great and it’s nigh impossible to sound bad, but it’s hard to not give yourself away to the musical trance that Electronauts offers.
Electronauts is lightly built with EDM enthusiasts in mind, but Survios has a wide array of music licensed that includes all manner of synth pop, rap, and even more traditional pop music. There’s enough variety to sate any musical pallet, and if all else fails, you can endlessly remix the same song over and over.
Electronauts will be released Tuesday, August 7 at 3 p.m. Eastern on Steam and Oculus Home for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift at $19.99, and Playstation Store for PSVR at $17.99.