While most had expected Microsoft to announce their own VR headset sometime within the next year, few could have predicted the debut of HoloLens. Essentially, a headset that projects holographic images in real space, the HoloLens and Microsoft Holographic showed a ton of early potential, and had many gamers talking.
However, because the HoloLens reveal was part of a Windows 10 event, many speculated that games might not be at the forefront of the device’s development. Phil Spencer did his best to squash those assumptions, saying that gaming is at the center of any new technology, but there was still some debate. Now, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has chimed in to share his thoughts on the potential of HoloLens.
While he didn’t have much to say on the matter, Nadella did tease the “mind-blowing” potential for the technology during a post-earnings call this week. He believes that with a concerted focus on development for Microsoft Holographic, HoloLens, and Windows 10 then we may see an evolution in gaming.
"It's also getting clearer how the games people love today will evolve to mind-blowing experiences in the future when designed for the mixed reality that Windows 10 and HoloLens create."
Unfortunately, we are still in that holding period between announcement and hands-on demo, where the potential of the tech is clearly on display but it’s unclear just how well it might work. It’s the same thing that happened after Sony unveiled Project Morpheus, and might still be true for the VR headset today.
Nevertheless, with Minecraft support, HoloLens is sure to generate a strong following, which in turn would help its long-term appeal. If Minecraft is the casual experience that helps get the device in every home, then that opens up developers to try new ideas, beyond just basic VR. Nadella also believes that HoloLens will help Microsoft increase their strong lead, but it's unclear what lead he is referring to. It's true that PC gaming is leading the pack, but when it comes to consoles Microsoft is still trailing PS4.
"Just imagine what is possible with Minecraft. Gaming truly is a valuable part of millions of people's lives and Microsoft will excel and increase our lead."
It will no doubt be interesting to see how the Oculus Rift vs. Project Morpheus vs. HoloLens competition plays out. Each is going for something a little different, but all have exciting elements about them. This year’s E3 is sure to be an exciting one.
What do you think of Microsoft’s HoloLens? Do you think the device has “mind-blowing” potential?