The Yu-Gi-Oh! anime is coming to life as Konami tests out augmented reality card battles for the beloved game.
Konami reortedly showcased the AR technology before the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championships in Chiba City, Japan earlier this month. According to a report by Kotaku, the exhibition kicked off the tournament with a bang, showing giant projections of the Duel Monsters floating above their players.
The duelists played up the pageantry of the event, dressed in outlandish outfits reminiscent of anime and playing their cards with dramatic flair. The technology even gave the players augmented hairstyles, though neither of them had the three-toned 'do that Yugi was so infamous for.
The event live-streamed on Twitch, though it has since been made available on YouTube. In addition to the megalithic figures above the players' heads, smaller projections floated just above their cards on the playing surface.
The display had esports fans flocking back to Yu-Gi-Oh!, hoping that all tournament matches will look like this one sooner rather than later. As many pointed out, this is not the first time a card game has gotten an augmented reality twist. In the early 2000s, The Eye of Judgement enabled players to take their trading card game to the next level on the Play Station 3.
Still, for the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, this has been a longtime coming. The series raised the idea of card game holograms way back in 1996, and captured the imaginations of a whole generation. Yu-Gi-Oh! has sold over 40 million copies as a manga, become a worldwide sensation as anime, and of course sold billions and billions of trading cards.
These days, the game is still played competitively around the world, with the World Championship in Chiba City being the highest tier one can reach. Whoever comes out on top of that tournament is regarded as the worlds No. 1 Duelist and the official King of Games.
This year's tournament took place on Sunday, Aug. 5. The main event match was between Bohdan Temnyk of Australia, and Wang Chia Ching of Taiwan. Ching was ultimately victorious, making him the world's top player for the next year.
Though the main series has long been over, Yu-Gi-Oh! is alive and well in many forms. back in June, Shueisha announced a new manga spin-off called Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, which will reportedly run in Saikyou Jump.