Microsoft will not launch HoloLens to consumers until 2019, but the device is widely available to developers. This is a purposeful tactic that lets creators build for the mixed reality device. Some of those creations are fun, such a new app that lets users play Nintendo's classic Super Mario Bros. in augmented reality.
Abhishek Singh has developed a version of the game that plays out in mixed reality in the real world. The 28-year-old creator has managed to recreate a single level from Mario and implements it in New York City's Central Park.
Singh demonstrated the game in the park, wearing HoloLens and a Mario costume. The NYU graduate spoke to UploadVR and said it took him around one month to build the level.
“I also had to model all the assets and elements of the game and at times rethink the experience and gameplay to work in a real-world 3D setting. The most time was probably spent on tweaking the game to work in a large outdoor environment. It still has a few quirks but is definitely playable. The final level was more than 110m long!”
We have previously heard about the limitations of HoloLens's field of view, but Singh says it was not a hindrance. However, this seems to be more about the game than the hardware “since all the action tends to start happening further out in front of you”.
Nintendo Classic on HoloLens
Gaming giants from Nintendo's catalog are not new on HoloLens. Indie dev Andrew Peterson has previously brought Donkey Kong, Zelda 2, and Tetris to the device.
However, these games were based on Peterson's N3S Windows emulator. This means the classics were played on a single window pane and not really interacting with the environment.
Last year, when Pokémon Go was a two-month juggernaut, developer CapitolaVR built a version that leveraged the power of HoloLens. Speaking to us in an interview, the company's founder explained the build and the hardware limitations of Microsoft's headset.