After its jaw-dropping debut of Minecraft for Hololens at the Xbox E3 press event, you might think Microsoft had made its point. And that point is: Hololens is the future, and the future has arrived.
But MS was far from finished. At the Xbox booth on the E3 show floor, Microsoft prepared one of the coolest experiences attendees will encounter all week. As part of the hype machine for Halo 5: Guardians on Xbox One, Microsoft has put together a walk-through recreation of a UNSC command ship that ends with a hands-on demo of Halo 5's "Warzone" multiplayer mode. Before E3-ers get that far, however, there's a little detour that they're never, ever going to forget.
Five at a time, attendees are guided into a "war room" environment, at the center of which is a special table and Hololens headsets. After putting on their headsets — which we hear are remarkably lightweight, by the way — they're presented with an authentic military briefing that unfolds entirely in holographic form.
It starts with a small holographic model of the UNSC Infinity, which just as the Minecraft demo did, moves in real space in front of you, following your orientation to the table. Soon, Halo's Commander Palmer appears and gives you a rundown of what to expect from Warzone and how it works.
So, was it necessary for Microsoft to build this big, crazy, high-tech experience for E3?
Heck no! There's no part of Halo 5 that's playable in the Hololens demo, and attendees' Warzone play time would have gone on perfectly fine without it. But that's not the point.
Anyone who lines up at the Xbox booth and goes through this unique demo will leave E3 having experienced a mind-blowing new technology that they're going to share with everyone they know. From a PR perspective, that's a brilliant bit of stunt marketing. It put a buzzworthy new consumer technology in front of a perfect audience that's not only receptive to it, but eager to get their hands on it.
Well played, Microsoft.
Stay tuned for more E3 2015 coverage all week from TechTimes and T-Lounge.