Microsoft’s HoloLens has become a regular starlet in the virtual reality (VR) scene since it’s announcement back in January of this year, despite the head-mounted display (HMD) still remaining tightly under lock-and-key. This is most likely because support for the device from a developer’s perspective has been in development for sometime, fundamentally built into the Windows 10 ecosystem. Further evidence of this was revealed at GDC Europe 2015, where Microsoft confirmed that all of the Windows-based consumer devices – Xbox One, Windows 10, Windows Phone and HoloLens – will in time share a universal digital store.
Revealed today during a talk at GDC Europe 2015 by Jaime Rodriguez, Games Evangelist at Microsoft, entitled ‘One game across PC, Phone, Xbox, and HoloLens’, Microsoft’s upcoming digital store revamp will see the same application available to all the above hardware devices. The Windows desktop/tablet and Windows Phone stores currently share many similarities – including cross-platform purchase – but the news that Xbox One and eventually HoloLens also would become enveloped into this shared space will surprise many.
Furthermore, Rodriguez stated that certain applications would be available for multiple formats with a single purchase, expanding on the cross-platform option currently available for Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows Phone. Could we see HoloLens applications designed with functionality for other formats built-in? Given the shared API between Xbox One, Windows platforms and HoloLens, it’s entirely possible that this functionality has always been a part of Microsoft’s plan.
The Xbox One is set to receive access to this universal store ‘by the end of the year’, according to Rodriguez, with HoloLens to follow once the hardware is ready to launch. VRFocus will of course keep you updated with all the latest details on Microsoft’s forthcoming HMD and the connectivity with the Universal Windows Platform that it will offer.