Though that fancy Minecraft demo got us all worked up, Microsoft has so far been keen to stress that gaming will not be an initial focus of its HoloLens augmented reality wearable. However, ahead of this week's Gamescom conference, Microsoft shared a few more details on how you'll get your game on with HoloLens, confirming that Xbox Live will be coming to the headset.
Speaking at a GDC Europe session, Jamie Rodriguez, games evangelist at Microsoft, revealed that the Xbox Live API will eventually be available for any device part of Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform. That, obviously, includes the Xbox One, and we've known for some time that Windows 10 was getting Xbox Live integration. But it's the first time we've heard that HoloLens, as part of that Universal Windows Platform, will be getting a look-in too.
As for exactly how far that integration goes is anyone's guess – an AR headset, aside from the possibility of recreating a giant floating TV screen in your living (which, even as I write this, is actually sounding like just the kind of crazy I like), may not be as well-suited to playing traditional games as even a VR headset. (Not that Microsoft will be too fussed about that, having sewn up a deal with Oculus recently, too). But you'd imagine in time that the HoloLens would eventually let gamers check stats, leaderboards, achievements and friends lists whilst wearing the headset, and could perhaps even offer floating HUD elements to declutter a game screen.
For the time being, Microsoft is being coy, with the focus seemingly on core computing interactions rather than gaming. Still, it sounds like it won't be too long until we can start to see what HoloLens is truly capable of – the V1 developers edition of HoloLens will ship to developers "within the next year" according to Microsoft boss Satya Nadella. [VR Focus via Engadget]