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Disney targets virtual and augmented reality with Marvel, Star Wars games

Entertainment behemoth partners with Lenovo to create its own headset

Disney unveiled its first major plans for VR and AR products during this weekend's D23 event.

While the showcase is primarily organised to reveal new information about its upcoming movies, the company also held a Level Up panel discussing future releases in the video game space that use its Disney, Star Wars and Marvel properties.

The most notable announcement was a partnership with Lenovo, who will help Disney create its own augmented reality headset, according to GameSpot.

Reports seem to suggest this will be a standalone product with a built-in mini-game collection called Star Wars: Jedi Challenges. Games will include lightsaber battles and holochess, although its unclear whether players will be able to download other titles.

There's no word on a release date, other than 'coming soon', although we'd be surprised if Disney didn't try to get this on shelves in time for Christmas and the release of The Last Jedi.

Meanwhile VentureBeat reports Disney has also partnered with Oculus to create a virtual reality title based on Marvel's superheroes.

Marvel Powers United VR will be an Oculus exclusive title and is due for release in 2018. It uses the Touch motion-controllers and allows players to fight enemies using the abilities of iconic heroes such as The Hulk, Rocket Raccoon and Captain Marvel.

There were also updates on upcoming console and PC titles such Insomniac's Spider-Man game and Star Wars Battlefront 2.

Jedi Challenges and Marvel Powers United VR mark a step-change in Disney's games strategy. Disney famously exited video games publishing last year, scrapping its Disney Infinity toys-to-life line as well as various projects in the works at other developers. Since then, it has been licensing its properties out to established games firms - most notably with Electronic Arts taking the lead on Star Wars titles.

The D23 announcements add Disney to the long list of entertainment firms turning to virtual and augmented reality as a promising new market, although the installbase for current headsets remains relatively low.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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