Since its inception in 2009, Minecraft has been delighting gamers with its engaging brand of sandbox freedom across PC, console and mobile platforms. The now iconic game, in which players construct and explore their own virtual 3D reality, has come a long way since then, granting even greater levels of freedom and creativity. Crucially, Minecraft has evolved to allow players to interact and play together within a single virtual world. Through player-hosted servers using providers such as 1&1, Minecraft enthusiasts can band together to create, explore, and even cooperate to survive in the wilderness.
But can you imagine how utterly amazing it would be to transform your living room into this immersive world? At E3 recently, Microsoft unveiled how their HoloLens can make this dream a reality, well, a virtual reality. For those of you who haven’t already heard, the HoloLens is essentially a stand-alone computer in the form of a headset, allowing high definition holograms to integrate seamlessly with your surroundings. Having only been announced in January, the jury’s out on whether it will become a complete success or feature on a list like this in the future, but it’s certainly a thrilling prospect.
Combining this augmented reality technology with a tailor-made version of Minecraft yields pretty staggering results. Not only can you immerse yourself visually in your fantasy land, thanks to the gorgeous holographic visuals, but the HoloLens also allows you to interact with the game using verbal and physical commands. Your surroundings are entirely yours to manipulate – one minute you can be playing in 2D on a holographic screen on your wall and the next, by simply uttering "place world”, as you watch your Minecraft world sprawl across your table, shelves, floor, or wherever you like!
Then, you can have a good look around by tugging the world around with your fingertips, as if you were a god surveying your kingdom. Practically anything is possible - zoom in, zoom out, bird’s eye view, 360 degrees, and even lifting the entire world up to see what’s lurking beneath. What’s more, the potential control also extends to interacting with the virtual world rather than merely changing your perspective on it. Create sign posts, dictate the text they display and even keeping in the god-like spirit, cast lightning bolts purely by looking at your target and uttering the command.
As for when we can actually expect to use the HoloLens, Microsoft have remained characteristically tight-lipped. It would be a reasonable guess to suppose that it will arrive around the time of the final version of Windows 10, due for release late this year. However, only time will tell when this remarkable bit of tech will be available to Minecraft buffs, eager to experience the latest development of this beloved sandbox game.