Pokémon GO has been a rare recent win for Nintendo. The game has quickly been adopted by millions of users on mobile devices. Many people, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella included, believe the title could drive popularity in augmented reality. Now we get to find out how Pokémon GO looks when running on Microsoft's HoloLens.
While Pokémon GO is not an augmented reality game by design, it has ingredients to be one. It allows gamers to train Pokémon in real world locations. Microsoft's HoloLens creates augmented realities on top of real-world environments. It is the best example of AR hardware and one demo now shows how the game looks on the headset.
It is worth noting that this is not an official demo from Microsoft or Nintendo. Still, it shows how HoloLens can be used to create a truly immersive gaming experience. Virtual reality is widely considered to be the next gaming frontier. However, AR has potential too, not least because it lets gamers truly interact with the game world.
Earlier this week, Satya Nadella said Pokémon GO is the kind of game to help drive HoloLens sales:
“This Pokémon interest hopefully will translate into a lot of interest in HoloLens. Think about it, the game physics of that app are built for HoloLens. Of course the phone is great, the installed base of the phone is so enormous that it makes it possible. But think about what that game on HoloLens would mean. You're not trying to use a phone when you can actually use your eyes to look through. It's the ultimate computing paradigm and I am happy for Pokémon but I am happy for these industrial applications.”
Unlocking the Potential of HoloLens
The demo shows the potential Nadella was talking about, despite its obvious flaws. Graphically the demo is a bit of a mess, forgivable considering its was developed in a day. Although, the creators say they were “amazed” at how easy it was to port the game to augmented reality for HoloLens.
Microsoft has already said that it wants to build up content before releasing HoloLens to consumers. A popular title like Pokémon GO would give the company an early driver from the start.