Rez and Tetris Effect creator, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, has confirmed that a synaesthesia based game is in the works for next-gen consoles. In an interview with Famitsu, which was translated by VGC, Mizuguchi said, “Of course, the next generation of consoles came out at the end of last year, so we would like to develop the next games for the new generation, and we have actually started working on projects.”
According to Wikipedia, synaesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. This concept can be witnessed in Mizuguchi’s previous games, Lumines, Child of Eden and Tetris Effect, where on-screen actions are synchronized with sound cues.
“We are very good at weaving music and sound into visual and tactile experiences in our game designs, so that we can take an interesting game and turn it into an even more impressive game,” said the Enhance CEO. “I’d like to raise the level of excitement to a higher level by increasing the granularity of what comes next after Rez Infinite or after Tetris Effect.
He went on to talk about the potential avenues that synaesthesia based games could take. “In order to achieve this, the evolution of VR technology is very important, and resolution is also important. In other words, there are various levels of granularity, aren’t there? I’d like to see that improve,” he elaborated.
Mizuguchi hinted that Enhance was already working on taking the synaesthesia experience to the new level, and some of that work could be seen in previous projects. “In particular, Area X in Rez Infinite was developed as a ‘prologue’ to the next game, and we hope to use that concept in the next generation of games,” he said. “With the concept and XR technology, we’d like to increase the overall resolution and create a more detailed game.”
He also noted that advancing technology has aided in getting him closer to his dream synaesthesia game, not just in terms of visuals, but rather a holistic approach. He specifically mentioned the 3D audio and haptic feedback featured in the PlayStation 5. “Of course, there is the resolution of images, but there is also the resolution of sound. For example, sound also has a resolution, and the way we used to think of sound was as stereo, but now it’s being viewed as spatial audio.”
“When you think about the pattern of sounds coming from various directions in a space, and harmonizing them to form a piece of music, it becomes a different dimension from simple stereo sound. Everything becomes spatialized,” he continued. “Everything becomes 3D, and the increase in granularity and resolution shakes or changes the experience itself.”
However, with the haptic feedback feature on the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller, Mizuguchi will be able to add another dimension to his synaesthesia games, creating a synergy of visuals, sound, and tactile sensation. “When haptics is added to the mix, the total integrated experience of visuals, sound, and tactile sensations is not just multiplied, but multiplied by a factor of several. When that happens, things start to happen that in the past would not have felt like this in a game. We believe that we can make it happen, and we’re climbing the stairs one by one.”
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