HoloLens Opens Up a Virtual World for Minecraft

LOS ANGELES—When Microsoft first debuted its HoloLens augmented reality goggles earlier this year, the company teased at the possibility of playing some Minecraft on your living room table. At the company's E3 2015 showcase, we got to see that concept in action, and we're certainly impressed.

HoloLens will work with the PC version of Mojang's popular world-building game, meaning any of your friends on the same platform can join you in the virtual fun. During Microsoft's stage demo, the player started by beaming his game of Minecraft onto a wall, something you'll be able to do with most Windows 10 apps when HoloLens eventually launches.

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When the demonstrator moved Minecraft from his wall to a table, however, Minecraft literally became a whole new game. Your Minecraft world renders itself in 3D when you lay the game on a flat surface, allowing you to interact with it as if it was a real-life set of toys. You'll be able to pan around the world using hand gestures, and even look inside buildings by simply sticking your head in them.

Minecraft will also support voice commands when played with HoloLens. When trying to get to the fiery underbelly of his virtual city, the player had his friend lay some TNT, said the phrase "lighting strike" and watched as bolts of lightning blew up the ground below. He also performed the same command on an innocent group of pigs, turning them into awesome-looking zombie pigs.

HoloLens works with the standard PC version of Minecraft, meaning any of your friends can join you while you get lost in your virtual town. There's still no release date for Microsoft's unique mixed-reality headset, but after seeing it in action with Minecraft, we can't wait to see how it will change up some of our other favorite games.

Mike Andronico is an Associate Editor at Tom's Guide. When he's not writing about games, PCs and iOS, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter. Follow Mike at @MikeAndronico. Follow us@TomsGuide, onFacebook and onGoogle+.