At its HoloLens 2 announcement yesterday, Microsoft discussed how the new head mounted display is an enterprise-fronted solution for improving business tasks. However, HoloLens 2 will also function as a day-to-day device thanks to games and general apps. For example, Epic Games and Mozilla are developing for the hardware.
Mozilla says it is developing a native version of its Firefox browser to run on the new HoloLens. Of course, Microsoft will also place its own Edge browser on the device, but more choice is welcome.
At the launch event as Mobile World Congress (MWC) yesterday, HoloLens creator Alex Kipman said Firefox will come to the Microsoft Store as an app in the near future. Unfortunately, a firm date on when that will be was not revealed.
Also during the presentation, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney took to the Microsoft stage. This was a surprise considering Sweeney has been an outspoken critic of Microsoft strategies with the Universal Windows Platform (UWP).
In 2016, Sweeney said he was concerned by the control Microsoft could gain over the gaming industry:
“Phil Spencer said the Xbox is an open platform. Which surprises me, because you have to get your game concept approved before you start developing it. Then you have to get every update approved. Microsoft has absolute control. You don’t know who your customers are. They sell your game through their store. It’s not your platform. It’s just propaganda mode at that point.”
However, he said yesterday Epic Games will support HoloLens 2 with its Unreal Engine 4, but did not detail any specific applications or games for the device.
“Epic’s vision and core principles are very much aligned with Microsoft’s, and we’re pleased to bring high-quality support for HoloLens in Unreal Engine to developers,” said Sweeney. “AR is the platform of the future for work and entertainment, and Epic will continue to champion all efforts to advance open platforms for the hardware and software that will power our daily lives.”