At this year’s Unite Europe conference in Amsterdam, video game publisher Ubisoft showed off three augmented reality gaming prototypes it’s working on for Microsoft’s HoloLens.
So far we’ve mostly seen how Microsoft’s augmented reality headset will bring improvements to the areas of education and business, but Ubisoft’s David Yue was keen to show how video games will use HoloLens and ‘spatial mapping’ technology too.
According to VrFocus, Yue showed a trio of prototypes which included familiar Ubisoft characters Toy Soldiers and the Rabbids. By using the 'spatial mapping' technology, Ubisoft was able to make realistic versions of these game characters appear in the world, react to their environment and allow players to interact with them.
Rabbids in real life
With the Toy Soldiers experience, players will be able to pick up the soldier characters, place them where they want and watch them face off with each other.
The Rabbids experience, titled Rabbid Rockets looks similarly straightforward. The VRFocus leaked shots appear to show what looks like a targeting circle that will appear in the player’s view, perhaps to allow them to fire the Rabbids into different points in their environment.
These prototypes are still in their very early stages and it’s unlikely we’ll see them become fully-fledged games any time soon if at all. However, it’s a good sign for the commercial viability of augmented and mixed reality hardware that Ubisoft, a publisher that was quick to get involved in virtual reality gaming, is also looking to work with Microsoft on its augmented and mixed reality hardware.
Not only does it show that AAA publishers are taking augmented and mixed reality gaming more seriously than ever, it shows that everyday consumers are being taken into consideration during the development process alongside businesses.
With a $3000 price point HoloLens is unlikely to be the AR hardware of the people any time soon, but with Microsoft working on Windows 10 Mixed Reality headsets that are expected to come to the Xbox One X as soon as next year a Ubisoft AR game may be closer than we think.