HoloLens developer outlines the potential impact of augmented reality on gaming

Michael Cottuli

Microsoft has been pushing HoloLens pretty hard since it was first announced. Between innovative programs like Holoportation and the effort to get working HoloLens models out to the International Space Station, the new device has been getting all sorts of attention.

One thing that’s been a bit glossed over, however, is how the device is going to make waves in the world of gaming. Augmented reality is something that many gamers have been dreaming about for a while, and up until this point has only been looked at from the point of view of Nintendo’s 3DS Augmented Reality cards, which proved to be nothing more than a bit of a novelty.

PCWorld recently spoke to David Dedeine, the man who oversaw the production of Young Conker and Fragments, about how the HoloLens is going to be making an impact on gaming in the near future, and what issues it’s going to face while doing so. David makes a fairly good case for why the HoloLens is going to be an effective tool for gamers, and provides a perspective that many gaming hobbyists haven’t taken to just yet.

HoloLens gaming.

The main conversation going on regarding augmented reality nowadays is a fairly natural one: is it going to be nearly as good for gaming as virtual reality devices like Vive, Oculus, and Playstation VR?  It’s a fair question, and honestly speaking, there isn’t really a solid answer that can be given right now. That being said, we can easily chalk up a few different pros and cons to either of them.

It seems like one of the biggest issues that HoloLens is going to face going forward is comfort. Since Microsoft’s headset, unlike devices like Oculus, isn’t tethered to a computer, you’re essentially carrying a computer around on your head. This means that heat and ventilation is going to be a huge issue, and needs to be handled very elegantly if Microsoft wants to be able to make HoloLens a comfortable device.

It’s not all issues that are on the road to HoloLens, though. David put it very well:

“There is a continent of gaming, and VR is just a new peninsula on that continent,” Dedeine commented. “AR is an entirely new continent.”

This is a good way to think about the whole issue, considering just how wildly different VR and AR are turning out to be. While VR envelops its players in an entirely immersive fantasy world, HoloLens opens up a new frontier, where people are going to be able to interact with real-life objects in playing their games. Neither of these are better than the other, but the fact is that they both create an interesting new world for interactive media for everyone.

Whether or not Microsoft will be able to overcome the comfort issues in order to make a truly revolutionary device for gaming is yet to be seen, but games like Fragments and Young Conker seem to be a decent proof of concept while we wait for a proper release.