The battle of visual peripherals is heating up. This generation has seen an explosion of announcements for virtual reality (VR) between gaming companies such as Sony and Valve, to Facebook’s purchase of the Oculus Rift, even Samsung with it’s Samsung Gear VR. Microsoft has been a bit of an outlier. It didn’t move to develop a VR platform in house. They took a different route with the HoloLens in what they described as “augmented reality.” There hasn’t been much shown on stage or otherwise from the major VR players. In general it’s mostly silence and secrets and technical updates behind closed doors. This makes it hard to convey to consumers why this technology is important and how it could benefit your entertainment in new and exciting ways. Microsoft’s HoloLens succeeded in accomplishing that during their conference.
Unlike virtual reality the HoloLens doesn’t have a innate synchronization with games. Virtual Reality hardware aims to surround and isolate the wearer’s vision and hearing to cut them off from reality. HoloLens is the half-way point between reality and virtual reality. A head mounted piece of hardware that is used similar to a pair of glasses, it augments and overlaps with what exists in the real world around you. Microsoft has other uses planned with HoloLens outside of gaming, but depending on how HoloLens is used can contribute great video game experiences. Using the best selling PC game of all time, a with wide-spread world wide appeal, and a game which they now own the IP, Minecraft, Microsoft displayed what HoloLens can really do. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so watch the video below and just think of the possibilities.