Seeing is believing, and Minecraft fans should now believe they have something huge to be excited about. During the Microsoft E3 Press Conference, Mojang developers took to the stage to demonstrate a special edition of Minecraft built specifically with Microsoft HoloLens in mind. The new edition will allow players using the HoloLens to play in tandem with PC-based players, and use their unique viewpoint to have an overhead, holographic view of areas of the map.
Microsoft had already shown off Minecraft’s ability to utilize the HoLolens, but seeing it live and on-stage was something entirely different. The holographic interactions, which took place atop an on-stage table, seemed completely fluid and natural. Using hand-swipe controls, the demonstrator was able to easily navigate around the map, which provided a live view of what was happening on a local Minecraft server. Interestingly, it looks like HoloLens didn’t strictly load via biomes, but provided a centralized and easily scrollable viewpoint, which loaded on a block-by-block basis as the player moved around.
HoloLens not only allows the player to peer through windows, but simply float through them from a first-person perspective as well. We’ve no doubt flying through rocks may get a little disorienting, but it was a beautiful and exciting thing to see happen live. It allows for players to poke their heads around and notice interior details and cave formations they otherwise might have missed.
Utilizing admin-console-like commands, the player was able to interact with the environment just like a PC player would be able to, issuing overworld commands and exposing hidden dangers for other players. During the live demonstration, a Mojang employee used voice commands – another new feature for the series – to call down a lightning strike. If there was ever a truly omnipotent way to look over a Minecraft world, HoloLens has provided it.
Those playing from Holelens will be able to join players who are playing on the regular PC edition of the game, which means hundreds of thousands of pre-created Minecraft worlds would become immediately available for exploring. Microsoft HoloLens itself doesn’t currently have a release date, but Microsoft stated that it will launch around the same time as Windows 10, which currently features a July 29th release date. There’s no word on when the Minecraft edition with HoloLens support will become available, though.
Microsoft plans to keep any further details about the special edition under wraps until MineCon, which takes place this July 4-5 in London. The company shocked consumers everywhere when they acquired Mojang for a cool $2.5 billion last year, and it seems like Microsoft isn’t shying away from pouring a small fortune into developing the series onto new platforms, either.
What do you think about the Minecraft HoloLens edition, Ranters? Is this something you’d be interested in playing, or do you think its gimmicky?