HoloLens, Microsoft’s latest augmented reality device that will be released this year, will step into a realm that already includes heavyweights like Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus. However, the company’s CEO Satya Nadella isn't backing down from competitors, and says the gaming opportunities for the device will be “mind-blowing.”
"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," Nadella said on Tuesday during a post-earnings financial call.
He then went on to discuss how the technology could influence certain games, especially popular sandbox indie game “Minecraft,” which the company acquired last October for $2.5 billion.
"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."
Microsoft’s HoloLens is the primary device for its augmented reality platform Windows Holographic, which will be introduced as part of the Windows 10 operating system when it launches later this year. The HoloLens will compete with devices like the Oculus Rift, Google Glass, Samsung Gear VR and Project Morpheus.
The Redmond, Washington-based company announced Windows Holographic and HoloLens headset last week during its Windows 10 event.
Microsoft and Mojang demonstrated the platform’s range in two different “Minecraft” demonstrations, though the game’s developer Jens Bergensten believes the technology is still a work in progress when he discussed it on Twitter last week.
I've tried 2 Minecraft projects on #HoloLens. One is a toy, one is closer to the game, both are awesome! Very much wip, but definitely real
â€” Jens Bergensten (@jeb_) January 21, 2015
"To me, there's not a successful consumer electronics device on the planet where gaming is not a primary app category, and I think HoloLens will work the same way; I think gaming will be important," Xbox head Phil Spencer added during the Windows 10 event last week. "We're thinking hard about specific scenarios with the Xbox, with things like content streaming, and using it as a display for Xbox."
Windows Holographic will also include HoloStudio, a 3D modeling application which can create output for 3D printers, a Skype application and OnSight, a software tool that will allow users and scientists to experience the landscape on the planet Mars – using data directly from the Curiousity rover.