Microsoft announced on Monday that its the developer's edition of its holographic computer headset HoloLens is now available for preorder.
While the HoloLens Development Edition is not cheap, it will set developers back $3,000, and the self-contained Windows 10 device has some impressive specs, including being powered by a custom-built Microsoft Holographic Processing Unit and an Intel 32-bit processor, with 2 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, a 2 megapixel camera and Bluetooth support.
Creators will be able to start developing their own titles when the devices ship on March 30, which includes a document, videos and a "showcase of holographic app experiences to help them get started" in the Windows Store for free.
"Each of these experiences have been delivered to highlight unique capabilities of HoloLens and to illustrate for developers how they can be used in every day applications," Kudo Tsunoda writes in a blog post. "It is our hope that these example applications can be used as a jumping off point for how any developer can create amazing 3D content for HoloLens."
Microsoft also announced the list of apps and games that will be included to help developers get inspired.
There is a total of seven titles available for the HoloLens Development Edition, including HoloStudio, the application to help developers easily create 3D on a real-world scale. This will also help them get familiar with its interaction model that consists of gaze, gesture and voice. The app supports OneDrive integration so that content can be exported to 3D printing or Sketchfab.
The HoloLens dev kit also includes Skype, so that developers can communicate to collaborate, and HoloTour, the application that allows the user to see high-res, 360-degree panoramic displays of real-world locations. This app serves as a virtual reality field trip that allows the user to walk about the location.
Developers will also have access to three games and one storytelling app. These include the mixed-reality crime drama Fragments that allows gamers to solve crimes in their living rooms, and Young Conker, the mixed-reality title that brings a twist to traditional platform gaming mechanics by setting the levels in real-world environments, both of which were created in partnership with Asobo Studio.
Also available in the Windows Store is the game previously codenamed Project X-Ray that now goes by RoboRaid and has gamers battling aliens in their own homes.
Last but not least, Actiongram is the interactive storytelling medium for developers that uses mixed-reality "to blend holographic content into real world settings, allowing anybody to create emotionally compelling and humorous videos."
Developers can preorder their HoloLens Development Edition now at www.hololens.com/developmentedition. The devices will start shipping in the U.S. and Canada on March 30.
Microsoft is expected to release a consumer version, but has not set an official release date yet.