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Touchable Love Plus Shown at Digital Content Expo

The next generation of virtual girlfriend sims.

Manaka in the 3DS version of Love Plus.

Advancements come fast for Love Plus, Konami's digital girlfriend simulation. Following the Tokyo Game Show debut of Love Plus Medal, which features a sub monitor that beams out 3D versions of the game's cast of three girlfriends, the girls have crossed into a new dimension. Now they're touchable.

As reported today at 4gamer, Love Plus was on display at the Digital Content Expo 2010 event, a technology show that runs through the 17th in Odaiba. Konami had its own booth at the event, where the game's Augmented Reality and Vocaloid voice synthesis technology were on display.

But the real show of technology came in a separate booth that was set up in the show's ConTEX area, which highlights next generation contents technology. Here, Tokyo University's Graduate School of Information Science and Technology and Keio University's Graduate School of Media Design were showing "RePro 3D," a new interface that simulates touch. Thanks to a collaboration with Konami, the subject of the demonstration was Love Plus.

The RePro 3D interface requires that users wrap a sensor around their pointer finger, then touch a special panel. The touches are translated into a 3D world (that's 3D as in popping out of the screen 3D).

Exhibitors created a touchable 3D demo of SD ("super deformed") girls from Love Plus. The demo began by showing the the girls fly out from a DS unit. Samplers could then touch one of the girls, with the other two retreating back into the DS. The girls were able to react to your touches, turning to look at you depending on where you touched them.

The feedback provided by the unit to your finger is apparently strong enough that the 4gamer reporter was surprised by the initial experience. Given the small size of the characters, he'd been expecting the feeling to be like that of petting a small pet, like a hamster. However, the strength of the sensation was more along the lines of being bitten.

Unlike the 3D in Love Plus Medal, which is so far along that it's going to be on location test at an arcade in Kyoto this weekend, it's unclear if Konami plans on actually using this touch technology for future Love Plus games, and when the technology would be available if they decided to do so. For now, if you want to touch Manaka, Nene, and Rinko, your best chance is at Digital Content Expo 2010.

Visit 4gamer for images of the demo.

Image from Love Plus Medallion. The 3D girls in this upcoming arcade game will react to your attempts at touching them, but with the RePro 3D technology you can actually get some feedback on your fingers.

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