Microsoft’s HoloLens has so far been focussed on the business and education side of the mixed reality (MR) market. Providing educational opportunities such as allowing school children to view the solar system in vivid MR is certainly a worth goal, but there has been little dedicated to the entertainment possibilities of the HoloLens. Ubisoft are trying to change that with some prototype videogames for the HoloLens.
During a talk at Unite Europe 2017 called ‘AR Prototyping for the HoloLens’, David Yue from Ubisoft showed off some images of three prototype videogames that were designed exclusively for the HoloLens. Using ‘spacial mapping’ technology, Ubisoft were trying to make realistic-looking objects appear to HoloLens users, then allow users to interact with those objects.
One of the prototypes displayed involved Toy Soldiers. Two different colours of what appeared to be the typical plastic Army men from the childhood of many people faces off against one another on a wooded floor. A hand hovered above, selecting one of the soldiers, causing it to get a glowing outline. Another example involved the ubiquitous Rabbids titled as Rabbid Rockets. A targeting reticule is in the centre of the screen, with two spindly robot claws also forming part of the interface.
It is currently unlikely that the prototype examples on display will be turned into full videogames. However, that Ubisoft are working closely with Microsoft on augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) does suggest that there could be some Ubisoft titles appearing on a Microsfot MR platform at some point. It remains to be seen if that platform will be the HoloLens, or the Windows 10 MR headsets.