Microsoft enjoyed one of the most talked-about moments of E3 when it showed off Minecraft running on the upcoming HoloLens augmented reality hardware. The demo featured a bit of smoke and mirrors — the reality is far from the seemingly huge field of view shown in the demo — and it looks like the final version of the hardware won't be much better.
"The hardware isn't final so none of the things are completely done," Microsoft executive Kudo Tsunoda said during a video appearance on Giant Bomb. "I think you're never going to get to full peripheral field of view, but certainly the hardware we have the field of view isn't exactly final. But I wouldn't say it's going to be hugely noticeably different either."
While I haven't been able to try the hardware myself, the field of view is the most-often cited flaw in the system when discussed by developers, as you can tell from posts on social media and the hands-on reports of the technology.
Hololens is damned cool. Wish the fov was just a wee bit bigger.— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) June 18, 2015
The lack of a wide field of view is going to hurt the hardware's ability to create an effective illusion that these holograms are "real" objects that actually exist in the world. In practice the relatively small field of view means that you'll often see the edges of most of the objects in the virtual world, as shown by visualizations of what the hardware is like in action.
The technology remains one of the most advanced examples of augmented reality on the market, but it seems like even the consumer version will lag far behind the vision shown in the marketing materials and video demos Microsoft has been showing the public.