Even though Bethesda has already won the E3, Microsoft’s press conference still had some exciting bits. Backwards compatibility for example, that in combination with mod support, would almost make me buy an Xbox One.
Kidding aside, the Xbox presentation was very interesting. My favourite part was the HoloLens bit. I am not sure why, but the whole HoloLens thing seems more interesting than complete virtual reality like the Oculus. I like the idea of incorporating virtual elements in my existing world, especially if that element is Minecraft.
The first HoloLens demo showed a bit of Minecraft integration already, but did not show much interaction. With a special camera Microsoft&Mojang (M&M) were able to show a live demo of Minecraft gameplay with the HoloLens this time. The man playing could summon a virtual Minecraft world on a table in front of him and interact with it, using his fingers. While he did not build or create anything during the demo, he could look at his world from all angles and see his co-presenter, who was playing on a tablet, running around in the world.
Then he lifted the world and could look right through the chunk and conveniently, there was a fortress underground. His co-presenter decided that she wanted to check it out and placed TNT on the ground which mister HoloLens then ignited with a lightning strike by voice command. That is some serious god-mode stuff.
I do hope there is more to Minecraft HoloLens than they just showed at E3. Looking around and summoning lightning strikes is very impressive through this semi virtual reality, but if you cannot build or do anything except watch your friends and your world from high above: Minecraft HoloLens is nothing more than a gimmick, that will get boring rather quickly.
We are talking about Mojang here though and while it is still unsettling to hear Microsoft-people say “our game” when talking about Minecraft, I still have a lot of confidence in the studio and their ability to make Minecraft HoloLens awesome.