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$3,000 HoloLens Developer Edition Pre-Orders Open, Comes With Young Conker And Two Other Mini-Games

by Mike Futter on Feb 29, 2016 at 02:00 AM

HoloLens gets one step closer to reality starting today. Microsoft has announced that pre-orders are now open for developers, but if you’re an enthusiast planning to grab a devkit like you did with the Oculus Rift, it’s not your time yet.

Microsoft is handling HoloLens devkits like it does its console platforms. You’ll need to fill out an application and shell out a hefty $3,000 per device.

Alongside the devkits are a number of experiences intended to demonstrate HoloLens’ capabilities. HoloStudio allows developers to create inside the holographic environment and uses gaze tracking, gesture, and voice to augment other tools.

HoloTour is the mixed-reality version of the virtual tourism. This supports Rome and Machu Picchu locations to start. There is also a version of Skype, which Microsoft anticipates will be used by developers to share techniques for developing on HoloLens.

There are also three mini-games that will be available. Fragments is a crime drama that has users investigate their own surroundings for clues. Objects will appear on and around users’ furniture, and characters will come into the scene and grab a seat on your couch.

RoboRaid, which was previously developed under the name Project X-Ray, is a first-person shooter. Enemies emerge from your walls as your room crumbles from becoming a warzone.

Finally, Young Conker shows off how traditional platforming will work in mixed reality. Apparently, before his Bad Fur Day, the squirrel spent some time jumping on your furniture. Rather than putting traditionally designed levels in your environment, the game uses what’s in your room already. It and Fragments were developed in partnership with Asobo Studios.

Coming this summer, Microsoft will also be delivering a storytelling app called Actiongram. Using a technology called mixed reality capture, developers will be able to easily create holographic videos.

Microsoft isn’t yet talking about a final retail version, including pricing and timing. Microsoft has shared technical specifications with The Verge. You'll need Windows 10, and the headset has 2GB of VRAM and 64GB of flash storage onboard. It also offers both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Applications are being taken from Windows Insider participants in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Devkits are scheduled to ship on March 30. For more on HoloLens, check out our previous coverage, including an interview with project lead Kudo Tusnoda.

[Source: Microsoft]


Our Take
There had been some rumors floating that HoloLens had been shelved, but clearly Microsoft is moving ahead as planned. The fact that Microsoft is offering three different game experiences is evidence that it believes in HoloLens’ potential for interactive entertainment. I’m less certain given my extremely limited experience, but I’m eager to be proven wrong.