What 'Pokémon Go' For HoloLens Would Look Like

Developers tease 'Pokémon Go' for HoloLens prototypes. Not bad!

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Jul 15 2016, 5:33pm

GIF: YouTube/Generalkidd

For about a week, I was one of those Pokémon Go players who trudged around the city, oblivious to traffic or other pedestrians, in search of that rare, high CP. Even my dog got tired of going out every time an Onix silhouette appeared on my screen. My interest has slowly waned because I'm tired of all the glitching and, frankly, the game is starting to get repetitive.

But I'm an outlier, as preliminary reports show that Pokémon Go is attracting and retaining active users at levels unheard of in mobile gaming. Right now, nearly 26 million Americans are playing on Android and iOS. And it seems the game's developer, Niantic Labs, is set on making sure that future iterations are more than just bug fixes—such as an update that would allow players with HoloLens headsets to battle face-to-face in the real world.

GIF: KennyWdev

Yesterday, Fast Company reported that two ambitious developers, KennyWDev and Generalkidd, have been tinkering with versions of Pokémon Go for HoloLens—Microsoft's mixed-reality, holographic headset—that port full-size characters directly into players' environments. One of these prototypes even allows gamers to use voice commands during battles, which is a long ways off from the current method of silently mashing your phone's screen while you lurk at a PokéGym.

As you can see from these videos, the results are pretty impressive. And I'll admit that facing down a life-size Gyarados by San Francisco's Embarcadero would be pretty thrilling.

Unfortunately, it's too early to test either of these proof of concept experiments, and Microsoft still needs to prove the HoloLens can be as accessible and compelling as it claims to be. But it'll be interesting to see what types of niche communities emerge and evolve from the Pokémon Go phenomenon.

If Pokémon Go for HoloLens does become a thing, just please look both ways before crossing the street to battle that Blastoise, okay?