On the eve of E3, the video game industry’s annual conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft held an impressive keynote with plenty of demos of the company’s HoloLens mixed reality technology. Microsoft execs are betting gamers will pay big bucks to play fully immersive 3-D versions of hit games like Minecraft–and they’re probably right.
At the press conference, Microsoft debuted an augmented reality version of Minecraft—acquired last year when Microsoft purchased parent company Mojang for $2.5 billion–in which players can manipulate three-dimensional blocks with their hands, voices, and head motions. Based on the demoed technology, it seems the emphasis for HoloLens is on the tactile experience: building games such as Minecraft, interacting in elaborate multiplayer virtual worlds, and manipulating objects in complicated video game environments. E3 starts tomorrow, and we’re anticipating product announcements and demos from nearly every other major player in the consumer virtual reality and augmented reality space.