Although it seems clear that Microsoft’s HoloLens is geared more to the real, grown-up world, Project X Ray is a sure sign that they remember the rest of us. It’s an AR (Augmented Reality) game that uses the HoloLens to bring 3-D images into play, with images a player can grab, wear, and use to blow up things. You can designate any object in your house as your weapon. (Let’s hope it draws the line at cats and small dogs; an electric beater would make a fine laser gun.)
Right in your living room, they say. That could be a drawback, depending on your living room and how comfortable you are with alien ships and robots really coming out of your walls. There’s no CGI or other background; just those ugly tan walls, with you leaping around and ducking enemy fire.
For anyone who has read the Otherland series by Tad Williams, arguably one of the best uses of VR worlds in print—and surely the longest—Project X Ray will be a little disappointing. For anyone who has been lusting for holographic game play since the holodeck in STTNG, it’s a good step forward.
People who have used Project X Ray in demos say that one of, if not the, major negative right now is that you can’t see that well through the HoloLens headgear. If you miss some of those bad guys, who knows where they go? Maybe they’re propagating in the bathroom.
Developers who want to work on this stuff will be able to get a HoloLens dev kit in January for $3000.