Microsoft announces that the HoloLens dev kit will cost $3,000 and will be made available in Q1 2016. The company also reveals new game Project X-Ray.
Today, during their Windows 10 device event in New York, Microsoft revealed that the HoloLens Development Edition dev kit will cost $3,000 and will be made available to developers sometime during Q1 2016 (between January and March). The company did not provide any technical specifications for the HoloLens dev kit during the presentation, as it said that it had no new information to share.
The HoloLens Development Edition is being shopped around to “enterprise” customers, rather than developers who create software for a mostly-consumer audience. Earlier in the year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that he’d like to see HoloLens used with “hospitals, healthcare, and retail” and that those following the device’s development should not expect gaming to be the focus of HoloLens v.1.
But, despite this, Microsoft is not ‘abandoning’ HoloLens’ gaming potential (which Nadella has referred to as ‘mind-blowing’), as the company also used the event to show off a new game called Project X-Ray. In a demo, Microsoft showed how Project X-Ray allows the player to use a holographic weapon on their arm to fire lasers at flying enemies, and enemies that crawl out of the walls around them. It’s currently unclear what plans Microsoft has for Project X-Ray – other than being an impressive demo that shows off HoloLens’ capabilities – but it’s one that many gamers would like to see get a proper release, no doubt.
Although many gamers may be disappointed by the fact that HoloLens will not be focused on gaming for a while – especially with games like Project X-Ray and Minecraft in the works – some have called Microsoft ‘smart’ for its decision to focus on enterprise instead. Next year, PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift will all be fighting it out, vying for gamers’ attention and although those headsets are virtual reality (VR) as opposed to augmented reality (AR) like HoloLens, they would be marketed to the same audience.
By making enterprise its priority over gaming, not only will Microsoft avoid having to compete with Sony, Valve and Facebook, but the company can also see how gamers respond to the rival headsets first. Plus, by the time HoloLens dives into the gaming waters, developers may have a better grasp on making games for wearables, meaning that the HoloLens could have some seriously killer apps at launch.