With Project Morpheus, Oculus Rift, and HTC & Valve’s Vive, the VR headset space is really heating up. A few months ago, Microsoft was the latest company to join their ranks when they announced the Microsoft HoloLens. However, unlike the rest of its competitors, the HoloLens uses augmented reality tech rather than putting players into a virtual, interactive space.
Microsoft has demonstrated several things that the HoloLens ‘could’ be able to do (the demo the company showed off was just a concept) including using walls as screens so that the wearer can watch TV anywhere, using HoloLens for Skype calls, checking weather reports, and altering holographic designs. HoloLens could even be used for a real-life version of Minecraft, with Microsoft having revealed that possibility was one of the key reasons behind their $2.5 billion purchase of Minecraft developer, Mojang Studios.
But HoloLens’ use as a gaming peripheral doesn’t stop there. Following the criticism of Kinect, where Microsoft’s corporate VP has said they didn’t “deliver really great core experiences with Kinect”, Microsoft wants HoloLens to appeal to ‘core’ gamers. One way they’re doing this is by hiring Mass Effect director Casey Hudson, who will now be the the Creative Director at Microsoft Studios after he left his position at BioWare last year.
According to the announcement post, Hudson’s “primary focus” at Microsoft Studios will be on HoloLens Experiences, where he will be working on HoloLens games, applications, the operating system, and even the HoloLens hardware itself. Given Hudson’s career, it’s not hard to imagine RPGs and massive sci-fi blockbusters coming to HoloLens.
With this tech, players could be encouraged to look in cupboards and drawers for loot or look at the sky to see holographic spaceships whizzing around. The HoloLens could even put a version of Mass Effect‘s EDI artificial intelligence on the user’s kitchen table. Meanwhile, Hudson could help to suggest how to make the headset more comfortable for gamers and to improve its resolution so that games look no different to those on Xbox One.
Speaking of Xbox One, Hudson will also be “working with innovative new Xbox titles” and “driving a creative focus for Xbox and Windows gaming”. Recently Microsoft has been criticized for failing to support PC gaming, something made worse by the lack of PC games at last year’s E3.
However, their upcoming operating system Windows 10 will actually allow for some cross-platform gaming between Xbox One and PC and Microsoft is actively encouraging developers to make their games compatible on both platforms. As that could be a huge selling point for PCs and Xbox Ones when Windows 10 is released this summer, it makes sense that Microsoft would want one of gaming’s most experienced names working on the feature.
Do you think HoloLens will be a gimmick or a must-have gadget? What sort of games would you like Microsoft to bring to HoloLens? Leave a comment and let us know.
Source: Xbox Wire