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Minecraft is already an impressive bit of software tech. It allows players to build anything they want, as big and as long and as high as they want. Now imagine being able to bring those creations to life in a fully realized 3D real-world experience using HoloLens. You probably can't fathom it and that's okay because there's a video available to help you see what tomorrow's future looks like today.
Microsoft unveiled the live demo during their press conference to give gamers a look at the new technology set to arrive with HoloLens.
The video starts off showing the demo of Minecraft on a big screen, with a pre-built city already on display. Things take a big change later on when the HoloLens is used to bring the city to life in real-time. And by real-time, the demo had a specific HoloLens optical device over the camera so the people in the auditorium and at home could see what the HoloLens could display.
So what did the HoloLens have to display? Well, we finally get to see the transitional virtual reality experience and how it brings virtual reality into your augmented reality. With the glasses on, the in-game world is projected to your living room. Everyone in the audience is able to see what's happening with the Minecraft world and you're able to walk around and see the world from a whole new perspective. The demo shows the cameraman walking in and looking into some of the buildings, as well as being able to pull the whole world up by its roots and see how things work underground.
We get to see a cave and how the HoloLens with voice-activated support allows players to interact with the world, such as being able to call down lightning to blow up the TNT.
The ability to interact with the world right in front of you and then interact with the game in the virtual space is a really neat evolution on the typical virtual reality concept.
The only drawback is that it doesn't appear as if HoloLens would play well with something like the Oculus Rift since the Rift is more about a first-person experience and HoloLens is more about expanding that experience and extrapolating it into the real world.
Part of this reminds me a little bit of Microsoft introducing Project Natal so many years ago with Kate & Milo. We all know how Kinect turned out, especially by the time Kinect 2.0 came along.
With the technology offered by HoloLens, Microsoft has an opportunity to really one-up the competition given that there's nothing on the horizon from Sony or Nintendo that appears to compete with what Microsoft is doing.
They didn't expressly mention if there would be any support for the Xbox One, but it's definitely compatible with Windows 10. I'm sure we'll see more from this tech as it nears release.