What would Pokemon Go look like on an AR headset like Microsoft’s HoloLens 2? Well, that’s a question that may be closer to having an answer, following a recently reported demo presented by Niantic CEO John Hanke at Microsoft Ignite.
The demo is just a concept, of course, and is intended to excite interest and show what’s possible using several Microsoft technologies specifically for the conference. But it also hints at the direction Niantic and others might go, given the technology to do so.
What’s the big deal about Pokemon Go in AR on HoloLens 2?
Now, the demonstration shown at Microsoft Ignite utilizes the Microsoft HoloLens 2 AR headset. And it also showcases the power of Microsoft Mesh. And that platform is engineered to give developers an easier way to create collaborative virtual spaces. Including spaces for great gaming experiences.
That tech, summarily, allowed Mr. Hanke to play Pokemon Go unburdened by a smartphone. Instead, menus and other interactive elements were placed over the real world. Making it easy to see how devices like HoloLens 2 could be used for much more than productivity and enterprise.
During the video, for example, the executive showed how interactions in Pokemon Go might work. Mr. Hanke started the demonstration by walking to a park where multiple wild pokemon were roaming. To interact, he opened up his palm — typically used for menus in HoloLens apps. He was then able to select a strawberry and feed that to a wild Pikachu.
Further along in the demonstration, Mr. Hanke came across another player, who challenged him to a battle.
This is just a test
Now, none of that is to say that Pokemon Go is ready for primetime on AR platforms. Instead, Niantic intended it to showcase what Microsoft’s latest technology could bring to the table beyond work. Namely, for entertainment and social interactions.
And the demo itself was somewhat lacking in polish as well. So nobody should expect Pokemon Go to come leaping into the real world quite like the demo shows. At least not anytime soon. What it does show is exactly how similar AR platforms, especially platforms like Microsoft Mesh, are going to play a key role in the future of this type of gaming. Potentially leading to some of the best, most immersive game experiences available.