System allows you to show off your customized anime robot models as 3-D versions in online community.

There are a lot of “metaverse”-style projects where the core concept can be described as kind of neat, but ultimately not really all that necessary. On a day working from home, for example, I don’t think anyone’s tasks go smoother because they were assigned by an SD-size avatar of their boss instead of a plain old text message.

So it’s nice to see that Bandai Namco’s vision for a Gundam multiverse actually applies the technology to do some cool things for fans’ benefit. First announced a year ago, further details for the project were delivered in this week’s Gundam Conference (which is an actual event periodically held by Bandai Namco, and not an in-anime mid-season meeting in which the main character’s mecha gets outfitted with new equipment).

▼ Gundam Conference Spring 2023 presentation video, hosted by Bandai Namco’s Chief Gundam Officer Koji Fujiwara

As shown in the video, the first thing you’ll do when entering the Gundam metaverse is create an avatar, who you’ll then send out into a hub area. But while the setting is otherworldly futuristic, what makes the place really special is its links to our real world.

For example, head on over to the Gunpla Colony, as the Gundam model e-shop is called, and you’ll see images of the kits on offer. But instead of a series of still photos, like you’d see on an ordinary e-commerce site, the mecha are displayed in their fully constructed form as a 3-D image, as demonstrated in the video here.

Once they’ve assembled their own Gundpla kits, fans can add to the creative loop by 3-D scanning them and uploading them for display within the Gundam metaverse. The process is done using your smartphone and a special base you place the model on while scanning it, with Bandai Namco and Sony jointly developing the system.

As an optical scan, ostensibly the process will preserve any customizations from builders skilled enough to branch out from the kit’s official instructions. The 3-D data allows fellow fans to admire it from any angle, and the metaverse setting even gives the displayed Gunpla a sense of size in line with the massive mecha they’re supposed to represent.

To help Gundam enthusiasts from around the world communicate, Bandai Namco will also be including translation, speech-to-text, and text-to-speech tools.

The Gundam metaverse will also feature an AI guide character named Mero.

An official launch date is yet to be set, but the Gundam metaverse is scheduled to begin its beta test period in October.

Source: PR Times via Hachima Kiko
Top image: PR Times
Insert images: PR Times, YouTube/ガンダムチャンネル
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