Posted 14 May

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment coming to PS Vita this July

Digital release will also include Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment HD

We’re incredibly excited to announce that Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment will be coming to Europe, Australia and New Zealand this July! This title will be released exclusively on PlayStation Vita as a digital title.

After the latest announcement of Tales of Hearts R, we are quite proud to keep on releasing titles for PS Vita!

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In Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, players enter the world of SAO, a massively multiplayer online game to discover that the creator of the game has locked them inside without the possibility to log out. They also find out something terrible: dying in the game means dying in real life! To escape, the players must explore and defeat the enemies contained within in order to find a way out…alive.

Based on the very popular Sword Art Online universe, the story follows Kirito as he fights to survive in the dangerous VR world he’s stuck in. Encounter many beloved characters from the light novel, manga and anime, as well as new ones exclusive to the game, as you explore the different areas and battle the most ferocious bosses.

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The game is designed to simulate an MMORPG just like the one in the anime, allowing you to team up with other players to go on raids and do quests together! You’ll even be able to play ad-hoc with up to three other people. Master the combo system to pull off amazing attacks, build relationships with the characters you meet, and do your best to survive!

We’re also including an HD version of Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment, a game unreleased outside of Japan, to offer the ultimate Sword Art Online experience on Vita! I’m excited to see who will be the first one to finish the game with all the endings and side quests done.

Follow us on http://www.facebook.com/namcobandaigames.europe to stay up to date on the latest info!

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Comments

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Tenechan 14 May, 2014 @ 10:09 am   1

Thanks for bringing this to EU as well! Will for sure pick it up day one, even thought I ordered the english asian version of it.

 

Great! I’ve been keeping an eye on the game since since it was announced for Japan. Really glad it’s being localized

 
thekiddfran 14 May, 2014 @ 10:11 am   3

Awesome news. Will this get a physcial release or a collectors edition?

zero_berserker 14 May, 2014 @ 10:12 am   4

Great to know it’s coming to EU! As it is digital only it won’t be a priority buy from me, but I will surely get it sometime down the line.

Archacus 14 May, 2014 @ 10:14 am   5

Ok and what about retail physical release?

If there won’t be you can forget about one person.

    Archacus 14 May, 2014 @ 10:16 am    

    Also: to any other european gamer

    Let’s begin action : Stop discrimination of European Market – If you see that publisher do not want to release game in physical version (and he did in USA) do not buy, do not support or tolerate discrimination. We need to teach them to treat us like they should from the very beginning.

     
    RedSquirrel87 14 May, 2014 @ 10:16 am    

    It will be only digital both for EU and NA.

     
    Tenechan 14 May, 2014 @ 10:18 am    

    If you insist of having it as physical there is two versions you can get, Japanes ( Japanese only ) and Chinese (Chinese & English subtitles )

    Other then that both EU and US release is digital only.

    zero_berserker 14 May, 2014 @ 10:19 am    

    A niche game getting only a digital release is no discrimination, it’s a smart business choice.

    Archacus 14 May, 2014 @ 10:21 am    

    Hmm I’m pretty sure SAO is also popular in EU/America

    But if it won’t be released in America than I will consider buying game when the price will drop to 15 EUR. I don’t like digital edition of games, and I support only European Market (means I’m not going to import games from Asia or America)

    But thx guys for news!

    zero_berserker 14 May, 2014 @ 10:27 am    

    SAO sure is popular worldwide, but how many of the fans own a Vita? If this would get a physical release they would be lucky to sell even 5k copies. That’s not really worth the extra costs of going physical.

    Archacus 14 May, 2014 @ 10:43 am    

    @Zero_berserker

    I don’t see any problem…. really…

    Let us pre-order games so that they will know how many copies they need. That way European shops and private customers will be able to place and order beforehand, showing how big is demand in each region. Let’s not forget that either way the game is being localized for western audience… so that means the only costs would be production of physical copies. And Namco is releasing other games with physical copies…

    That way each niche game would be treated similar to limited edition, let’s say 5k copies and no singlecopy more.

    Ok, frankly speaking I don’t know how all of this works…. but I believe there is always simple solution to make all gamers happy… the only problem is: whether someone is willing to search for solution or not.

    Archacus 14 May, 2014 @ 10:56 am    

    Oh and let’s not forget this simple fact:

    The thing that encourage gamers to buy consoles are not specs of devices… but games and games alone. The Vita is more popular in Japan because there are more games. Maybe someone would be willing to buy Vita for SAO alone?

    Archacus 14 May, 2014 @ 11:05 am    

    Uh oh and one more thing (it feels like I’m on spam frenzy, sorry :P)

    Let’s not forget that releasing only few copies is not something unheard of. Back in Super Nintendo times there were titles that had for example 2.5k PAL copies. Now those games are super rare collectioner items with price up to 2000$.

    So yeah it is possible, I don’t think that they will loose money on this… Like somebody else said Vita cartridge is cheap thing… cheaper than PSP or SNES cartridge. Maybe they won’t have huge profit on it… but I don’t think they will lose money.

     
    manicrebirth 14 May, 2014 @ 11:22 am    

    Sorry to say but you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s not only to pay for physical production they have to pay for the localising which typical consists of a full team of people working to translate the game sometimes dub but not always aswell as perhaps tidying up a few coding errors that where not spotted by the original developers.

    Like Hatsune Miku these types of games almost never make it out of japan you should just be happy to get it. and by not supporting the digital release all your doing is showing Namco Bandai they where right to release it as digital only.

    However if everyone bought this digital they’d see there really is demand and would be much more willing to risk a full physical release next time. By not buying your only supporting there belief that there isn’t enough demand.

    Archacus 14 May, 2014 @ 11:32 am    

    @manicebirth

    But the game is being localized either way for digital release :) They don’t have to localize game that is already localized :P Without localization they can’t make digital edition, right?

    Yeah… but SAO is more popular than Hatsune Miku :)

    But I DO understand you…. it is one way of doing it. But will they really change their policy after selling more copies in EU? I don’t know. Maybe they will… or maybe they will just decide that game will be selling either way so they don’t need to make digital copies.

    I know one thing…. similar things were done back in PSP GO times, only digital editions were popular back than… but guess what… PSP GO failed and now no one even remember it

     

    Digital releases mean that we get games that otherwise wouldn’t be published in the west.
    Yes, of course you can fiddle around, calculating with a limited number of physical copies. But this will absolutely never be as profit-yielding as digital, with the far higher risk of a financial loss. A no-brainer that digital is being chosen.

    Imho we shouldn’t complain and praise the advantages of physical, we should accept that digital solves many problems to our advantage too. All that is really necessary is more digital competition, resulting in more reasonable price structures. Especially for SCEE.

     
    manicrebirth 14 May, 2014 @ 11:41 am    

    Yes but they do have to pay a significant amount upfront to produce the physical copies which is a significant risk on a game that may not sell well here.

    Whether or not SAO is more popular than Hatsune Miku is debatable i wouldn’t say for sure either way because i really don’t know… It might be but it may not be.

     

    This isn’t the first Namco game to be released as a digital only title for both Europe and US , EDF 2017 for example. I still have my xbox360 version of EDF 2017, so I wasn’t that put out by buying the digital vita version of EDF.

    As much as I dislike digital only titles I’m more inclined to get annoyed at the US getting physical and Europe than digital than when its both the US and Europe getting digital. Other than me preferring physical media, it’s the shambolic mess the way the store is run and items removed from download list (regardless of fixing the issue it’s pretty much shattered any confidence in buying digital from PSN).

    Problem with buying Namco games digital is we don’t get the 1000 points we normally get by buying Namco Bandai physical media. Just a reminder to Namco Bandai, it’s great you are releasing a One Piece game this summer on both vita and PS3. However, a vita version of One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 would also be nice.

    I can see however that Namco Bandai is actually trying to sweeten the digital pot by including extras which is a plus. If more digital releases were like that it might lessen that bitter digital pill, even better if Sony actually fixes the issues with its store and no rubber bands and bubble gum do not suffice as a fix.

     
    blendercat27 14 May, 2014 @ 2:39 pm    

    @Archacus
    Take a look at Hatsune Miku. It was popular here. Now the sequel is getting a physical release. That’s how it’s going to work now. The lack of physical releases has nothing to do discrimination, and everything to do with a pre-existing lack of support from gamers and retailers in your region. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to sell physical games (especially for handhelds). THIS is why there are less physical releases in your region.

    You’re forgetting that publishers actually want to sell their games. If they can sell more with a boxed release, there will be a boxed release (assuming they can afford to do that in the first place, which is another matter entirely).

    Pricing in your region will never match US pricing. US pricing doesn’t include sales taxes (sales taxes are added on top of advertised price, and is determined by each individual state), and the cost of doing business in Europe, especially the cost of distribution across Europe is too high. Higher retail markup also plays a big part for physical releases, and as long as publishers depend on physical retail, digital prices for new releases will continue to be non-competitive.

    The best way to ensure future titles get boxed releases in your region is to buy more games in your region. Things do not change simply because you want them to, and getting angry and making demands doesn’t achieve anything positive either. You need to first establish that there is a market for these games where you live, and prove that it is viable. Because so far, it isn’t. In other words, if you want more physical releases in your region, show them that you’re willing to actually buy games in your region.

    Isshak Ferdjani 14 May, 2014 @ 3:09 pm    

    Hello Archacus. I can understand being upset at the lack of physical release, but if we could have done it, we would have, trust me! It’s more interesting to have a physical version in stores for many reasons, but sometimes it just doesn’t make financial sense. It can end up hurting the game and its future. Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment will be digital in Europe and the US, and we’ll do our best for it to do well. And speaking as a fan: I prefer to get a game than not getting it at all, especially a Sword Art Online one!

    Archacus 14 May, 2014 @ 3:33 pm    

    @Isshak Ferdjani
    Thank you for reply, I apreciate it!

    Well I’m not that upset now that I know there won’t be physical release in US. I hate situations when US gets retail edition and we don’t… but that’s not the case here…

    So yeah… I’m not angry, rather dissapointed. Tales of R and Tales of Xillia will land on my shelf as soon as I will be able to buy them… as for SAO… not now, you will make price as high as for retail box edition, right? Meaning it will cost you less to sell it and you will be able to earn more on it… Don’t count on me… No way I’m going to buy it for 40 EUR…

    All digital releases are not worth more than 20 EUR, sorry that’s my opinion. So unless it will have good price, I’m not going to buy it simple as that.

    I prefer to get equal content for equal price. And for me value of box and physical version of game is high.

    Archacus 14 May, 2014 @ 3:36 pm    

    @blendercat27
    It would be true… if most of games in shops weren’t imported from Canada/USA.

    Yes are customers want to buy them in good price and with good quality.

    As you said they are earning money, if we boycott games they are not going to earn… so if they want to earn money they need to listen to customers.

    Like I said… back in SNES times nobody saw anything wrong in releasing only 2500 copies of game for region… And publishers wouldn’t do it, if they couldn’t earn money back than.

 

I planned to get an Asian import, but this is awesome! And thanks for bundling it with Infinity Moment!

 
PlatinumSpectre 14 May, 2014 @ 10:17 am   7

Confirmed for release right after I order a 32GB Memory Card! GLORIOUS!

Physical release?
If not, there is always the Asian version, it has English translation and there is a Collectors Edition of it!

The same can’t be said for Soul Sacrifice >_> …

 

Already bought an import version of the game. But will gladly double dip to get EU version aswell! Thanks for all the JRPG love you guys are sending our way! Much appreciated! <3 Bandai Namco

 
jaspertandy 14 May, 2014 @ 10:22 am   10

Oh wow I didn’t know this was coming to Europe. Day one for me.

    Isshak Ferdjani 14 May, 2014 @ 3:21 pm    

    Yay! Let’s all have a big virtual party on launch day :)

 
smile_taisou 14 May, 2014 @ 10:23 am   11

Well I’m importing a Taiwanese physical copy, since it comes with English subs anyway. I’m really sick of all these digital only releases. I have a 64GB card, and it’s almost full.

 

Yes I was waiting for this game to come to the eu!

 
sakulukk 14 May, 2014 @ 10:33 am   13

My wallet is crying thanks to Namco :O

It’s like games are raining down from the sky…

 
sakulukk 14 May, 2014 @ 10:36 am   14

Oh, and I just hope you guys won’t convert price 1:1 $ to € …. please, please make an effort to make it fair for both markets, Europeans are always paying more for games and no one want’s to be the first to make it fair =x. Sadly only a handful of Publishers care, I hope Namco can become one of them.

 
Katkaisu 14 May, 2014 @ 10:41 am   15

Will I be able to play online in europe if I import physical english copy?

 
Serpantino 14 May, 2014 @ 10:41 am   16

-_-’ another game to add to my ‘import when it’s cheap’ list. The lack of physical copies this gen is really disappointing. Surely the PSP UMD’s cost more to produce and if this had been for PSP I bet it would’ve seen a physical release.

I hate digital, it takes up space on a tiny and overpriced card (I have 32gb which is always full) and it encourages monopolizing.

Ac3_l1ghtn1ng 14 May, 2014 @ 11:08 am   17

Namco Bandai is on a roll, I saw some gameplay trailers but only one or two since I didn’t think this would get localized but thank god it is, day 1 buy. If you could be kind enough to answer 2 questions for me;
1) will it be english or japanese dub?
2) as a die hard vita fan and lover of digimon is it possible to localize digimon story cyber sleuth?

    Isshak Ferdjani 14 May, 2014 @ 3:23 pm    

    Nothing to announce on dub yet. But about Digimon: I know one way you can help, by signing a certain petition ;)

 
DJOates 14 May, 2014 @ 11:08 am   18

This is great news, as I’ve been pestering for this on the blog and twitter for months.

Just a couple of queries. Will we be getting any pre-order bonuses such as the wedding dress dlc that other regions got. Also, will we be getting the full range of dlc that’s been scheduled for weekly release in other regions, including the 30+ hour content update that’s been confirmed for July?

 
Weetrice 14 May, 2014 @ 11:18 am   19

Thank you very much! please bring God Eater 2 as well and it will be the best year for PSVita ^^

 
manicrebirth 14 May, 2014 @ 11:23 am   20

Hell yeah i’m very happy to hear this! So excited to play this..

 
tenshi_alpha 14 May, 2014 @ 11:32 am   21

Wonderful news! Thanks!

DarkBahamut87 14 May, 2014 @ 11:38 am   22

Pity there won’t be a physical edition, but since America won’t have it too, I guess I can pass over it.
I’ll buy it as soon as I can. Does anyone know how much space does it take?

Now, I hope there’ll be chances to localize Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth, too.

 
Envirasu 14 May, 2014 @ 11:47 am   23

Cool stuff. As always, a physical version would be appreciated, but I don’t mind going digital.

 
ProfRoxas 14 May, 2014 @ 1:08 pm   24

i find more and more unexpected releases, this makes me want a vita even more, keep it up!

 
Taobaka 14 May, 2014 @ 1:14 pm   25

Even though I find SAO anime pretty unpleasant – game is a different story. I just really hope it’s more about exploring and monster-grinding and less about date-sim.

THUNDERCAT1973 14 May, 2014 @ 1:42 pm   26

good news people should be happy that we are getting stuff like this at all even if it is digital, not long ago there would be no chance. too the people saying they will import you do know that the american version is digital only as well?
just be thankful we are getting these types of games, you and i might like them but to be honest there niche titles and its not worth the time and money to make physical editions. only negative as they don’t need to pay for stuff like packaging etc price should be cheaper, £20-25 not £30 plus.

     
    m1tch91 14 May, 2014 @ 2:02 pm    

    there is an asian version that offers choice between chinese and english subtitles and they do have a physicial copy. Even a collector’s edition…

ianuarius 14 May, 2014 @ 1:44 pm   27

Sorry, but I don’t buy game in digital. I’ll buy the asian physical version.

FOR THE EUROPEAN GAMER: DON’T BUY GAME IN DD! STOP THIS DISCRIMINATION

    DarkBahamut87 14 May, 2014 @ 3:14 pm    

    Ianu (sono Haseo), non è “discriminazione europea”, pure in America è DD-only. In questo caso non ci si può lamentare di questo.

    ianuarius 14 May, 2014 @ 6:02 pm    

    lo so che anche in America è in DD, il mio discorso era riferito in generale ai titoli che da noi arrivano in DD e nel resto del mondo in formato fisico (Muramasa Rebirth, Drakengard 3, Mind:0 e altri).
    SAO lo importo dall’ Asia e passa la paura, ma se continua così finisce che in Europa arriverà solo roba in DD. la cosa triste è che poi Sony ha anche il coraggio di lamentarsi delle vendite di Vita.

    Archacus 14 May, 2014 @ 7:08 pm    

    @ianuarius
    I agree this is dangerous trend to publish games only in digital version, in my humble opinion you are right to say that you don’t like it (I did the same :P)

THUNDERCAT1973 14 May, 2014 @ 1:50 pm   28

ianuarius as much as we might not like it, digital is the future especially for RPGS, do you really want to go back to the dark ages were we don’t get 99% of these games in the west. all people like you are going to do by not buying is for the companies to just say screw up, its not worth the time and money, lets stop bringing these games to the west. have to laugh at how gamers are not satisfied not matter what. we don’t get these games in europe, we get these games but its digital only and i bet if they did bring a physical version people would still find something to complain about

    Archacus 14 May, 2014 @ 4:11 pm    

    The future of gaming depends on gamers not publishers.

    If people will let publishers do however they want, sure they will prioritize digital versions. There are no costs of production here because they don’t have to make physical copies of games, they don’t have to store it or prepare games for sell. We heard many times before that digital versions will be cheaper… but that’s not true!

    As we know the prices are exactly the same as retail physical versions.

    It is our right as a customer to demand more. And like many people already said here, they have already pre ordered game from China/Japan… wherever there is demand there should be also supply. Simple as that.

THUNDERCAT1973 14 May, 2014 @ 1:58 pm   29

like or not digital i here and its the future, epically for niche titles and RPGs.it will just get to the point with people not buying because its digital, companies will just think its not worth it and we will be back to the old days when most stuff didnt come to the west, is that what you really want?

But prices do need to be cheaper with digital release, as i said in other post £20-25

     
    Timberman80 14 May, 2014 @ 11:10 pm    

    So much this!! Frankly, I’m sick and tired of whiney people who encourages people to not buying a product since its Digital only. Its way better to get it DO than not at all! What in sam h*** do you think will happen if everyone imports instead of supporting their own region?? Obviously, they WILL NOT release it physical, thats for sure. Now, all you whiners, go ruin someone elses hobby. /end of rant

 
m1tch91 14 May, 2014 @ 2:02 pm   30

PEOPLE if you IMPORT you will need to set up an asian account on your vita or you wont be able to update, use dlc and play multiplayer.

It’s way easier to just buy this one game digital!

gfffgg 14 May, 2014 @ 2:18 pm   31

Don’t listen to m1tch91, you don’t need an asian psn account to update the game or play the multiplayer (except if there’s an online pass), you’ll only miss out on dlc. So IMPORT away, it’s like they’re expecting this to sell anyways.

 
Phene90x 14 May, 2014 @ 3:31 pm   32

always good to see more jrpg come to europe, now i only hope its good :)

 
Pheaven 14 May, 2014 @ 3:42 pm   33

Please bring the game with the japanese dub, please please please!!!

 
supersmith2500 14 May, 2014 @ 4:14 pm   34

Another Digital only title. Ah well, better than nothing. How much space for the game?

Apocalyzm 14 May, 2014 @ 5:36 pm   35

So i cant buy a physically copy?

 
ven642 14 May, 2014 @ 5:48 pm   36

i’m really happy with you, bandai namco your going to bring us not 1 but 2 SAO games in july i have to get it :D you have made my year alot more aweome. thanks!

GlennBuster 14 May, 2014 @ 5:56 pm   37

I do hope it will release in Holland aswell unlike what Arc System Works did with BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma. But aside from that I am really hyped for this game!

Apocalyzm 14 May, 2014 @ 6:01 pm   38

Can i buy if i have 4gb memory card, i dont have any games downloaded on it the only things i have on it is normal games that take 2-4mb and its 2 of them

    Apocalyzm 14 May, 2014 @ 6:22 pm    

    Omg sry for my english, i will rewrite it here. Do i need a bigger a memory card then 4gb, I havent download any games on it.

     
    m1tch91 14 May, 2014 @ 7:09 pm    

    should be fine, i think someone on gaf said the japanese digital size seems to be around 2,9GB. I dont see it being much different here.

    Apocalyzm 14 May, 2014 @ 7:21 pm    

    So it will be the only digital game i can have on it?

 
TimZ1LLA 14 May, 2014 @ 6:17 pm   39

THANK YOU SO MUCH!! THANK YOU THANK YOU :D

 
dgnfly 14 May, 2014 @ 6:39 pm   40

i normaly buy a lot off namco bandai games but 2 factors makes a no buy first is DIGITAL only 2nd is no japanese dub. i’ll be waiting for the one piece game that’s coming. also any news on tales of hearts having japanese dub?

DizzyQViper 14 May, 2014 @ 7:42 pm   41

At last a publisher who treats the EU and the US equally with digital only instead of playing favourites. Its still disappointing but at least i can live it this way.

Also any word on God Eater 2 for the west?

 
Vana-gandar 14 May, 2014 @ 8:05 pm   42

I <3 YOU. Bringing this to europe makes a fan of the novel and anime really really happy ;)

 

I have a question about this game which I’m very exicted about, does this game have mature or teen content that is suitable for teen players like Rated Teen?

 
LionKeen 14 May, 2014 @ 10:57 pm   44

Excited for this release on PSN! Add me up for Sword Art Online!

Send friend request. Expand the Playstation experience.

 
Yasha257 15 May, 2014 @ 2:24 pm   45

This game will be released in the Us to right? I hope so, i love sword art online! :D

 
James2113 16 May, 2014 @ 7:38 pm   46

All I got to say. Is now for the rest of my life I will always buy sony consoles. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I just hope to god you release this game to North american players as well. THANK YOU SONY I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

Tymekthehedgehog 17 May, 2014 @ 12:07 pm   47

Will Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment HD be released in a bundle with Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment as an standalone game, or will Infinity Moment HD be included in Hollow Fragment? I hope it’ll basically be a bundle of two games: One being Infinity Moment HD, the other being Hollow Fragment. And not both included in one game. Please response~

bigbear_C22 20 May, 2014 @ 7:00 pm   48

This is good news but how long will it be available on the psn store permanently or only for a few days

 
Deicides 20 May, 2014 @ 9:20 pm   49

Shame it’s digital only but I’ll pick it up nonetheless. Love the art style.

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