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Microsoft just blew everyone away with its Minecraft HoloLens demo

Microsoft's augmented reality Minecraft demo stole this year's Xbox E3 briefing.


Dennis Scimeca


Posted on Jun 15, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 2:12 pm CDT

Virtual reality for gaming is all about stepping into a 3D virtual world. Augmented reality for gaming, on the other hand, is putting Minecraft 
on your dining room table.

Taylor Hatmaker/YouTube

Minecraft took center stage in Microsoft’s early demonstration of the HoloLens system, a pair of augmented reality goggles that can project holographic images onto flat surfaces. At E3 today, Microsoft gave a proof of concept demonstration that outshined everything else shown at its annual press conference.

What we see.

What we see.


What he sees.

What he sees.


The demonstration was cooperative, with one player moving an avatar within Minecraft, and the HoloLens user taking an omniscient perspective, rotating and zooming in to the Minecraft build however he pleased. The HoloLens user was even able to act like the virtual God, even striking the ground with lightning, at will.

Where Oculus and Valve Software are chasing VR tech—and Microsoft at today’s press conference made sure to mention its partnership with both companies—Microsoft’s HoloLens initiative is currently a singular pursuit within the confines of the gaming world. 

There’s simply nothing else like it, and today’s Xbox E3 briefing just went a long way toward proving the point, provided anyone can expect that level of performance in their living room. Never forget how carefully manicured everything you see on an E3 press conference stage really is.

Screengrab via Microsoft

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*First Published: Jun 15, 2015, 3:40 pm CDT