With companies such as Facebook, Sony, and HTC launching their own Virtual Reality devices in the foreseeable future, Microsoft has held off on the fad. Instead going with what could be the next step in technology, real holograms. I speak of course with the HoloLens, a device that instead of replacing reality, simply enhances your own. I believe that Microsoft does not need to follow the trend of these companies, instead, should focus on a device that could jump them ahead not only in the gaming world, but with real world functionality.
Take for instance this video:
This of course is the demo from Microsoft 2015 E3 press conference. With the HoloLens, the demonstrator brings Minecraft to life, manipulating the world in real time, with real world movements. Changing the world with his hands, as his co-demonstrator plays the game on a device, the uses for this are limitless. Imagine if you will, an architect that is able to build his exact building that he is designing; but instead of using a computer, he is using a HoloLens attached to a table that gives him the ability to access virtual materials. Literally letting him build the building to scale, using materials that would be available to a contractor.
From a gaming perspective, instead of putting the TV in front of your eyes, what if the HoloLens allowed you to actually interact with the world. Instead of the HUD on the television, your HUD appears on your glasses, feeding real time information to you, ammo count, health, directional arrows. Instead of playing the Real Time Strategy game on your tablet, it appears on your table, allowing you to build, move, and control troops with a simple wave of your hand.
From all reports, the HoloLens will be essentially a fully functional Windows 10 PC, giving access to programs like Microsoft Word and Excel. Take my example from before, if say a mechanic is working on an engine, and needs a diagnostics tool, he simply pops on the HoloLens and he has everything he needs while keeping both hands free.
Microsoft has given two very solid demonstrations of the HoloLens, first with the Minecraft demo, then in partnership with 343 where people could actually walk through the halls of one of the spaceships and see it bursting with virtual life. They got a very Star Wars like experience where a table began displaying Spartans moving about, and giving descriptions of enemies.
It is clear that the HoloLens is meant to blur the line between the real world and the cyber one. Bringing tech that we only see in science fiction to life and from all accounts, they may just pull it off. I do not believe that they need to jump headlong to compete with the Oculus, HTC, Samsung, and PlayStation VR. I firmly believe as long as it works as well as it looks like it will, they do not need to hop onto the Virtual Reality hype train, instead simply stay the course. For more on VR, check out Albert’s article on the PlayStation VR. And for more on VR and the HoloLens, you’re already at the right place – Mammoth Gamers. And be sure to hit us up on Twitter @Mammoth_Gamers.