I was fortunate enough to borrow Hololens for a few days. I had read all about this amazing device, however having it all to myself for a few days was a dream come true. The stars had finally lined up in my favour!
Being an amateur astronomer, the first app I installed was Galaxy Explorer. If you don’t know much about this gorgeous app, I would highly suggest you checkout this YouTube video. This app takes you on an amazing journey, of our Solar System and of some nearly star systems. The graphics are amazing and even more amazing is the realism that mixed reality brings, it’s as if you are there, hovering in space and looking at the stars. A totally out of this world (pun intended), stunning and breathtaking experience.
While using Hololens, I wondered how good it would be to play Xbox games on it. It would be amazing, to just choose any wall and use it as the screen for your games. However, a search of the Hololens store proved futile as there was no Xbox app for Hololens 😦
Next stop was to find a universal Xbox app, as Hololens is running a variant of Windows 10. I found the beta version of the Xbox app, downloaded and installed it on the Hololens.
Next, I powered up my Xbox One and made sure it was enabled to stream games to a Windows 10 device. If you are unsure how to enable this, click on this link
Both your Hololens and Xbox One have to be on the same network for this to work.
I logged into my Xbox One console using my Xbox Live account. Next I started the Xbox app on Hololens and logged in using the same Xbox Live account that I used on my Xbox One console.
Once logged into the Xbox app, I scrolled down on the left menu till I saw the Connect option.
When I air tapped on this, the app started a discovery of all Xbox consoles on the network and showed them on the right. I saw my Xbox One console listed, and I air tapped the Connect button underneath it (if your Xbox console is not detected, enter its ip address to find it).
Yay! My Xbox One console was now connected to Hololens. I got an option to either start the Stream or Test Streaming. Test Streaming is used to check the quality of the stream over your local network.
I air tapped on Stream and Viola! My Xbox One screen was now be visible inside Hololens.
I got a warning that there were no controllers attached to the PC (it was actually referring to Hololens). Since Hololens does not have any usb connectors, a wireless controller, connected to the Xbox One console, needs to be used.
I air tapped Continue as I already had a wireless controller connected to my console.
I was now streaming my Xbox One screen on Hololens and could use my wireless controller to move around and play games! And I was doing this on a wall in my living room! Who said I needed a TV to play Xbox.
The streaming quality is dependant on your local network speed. I didn’t notice any lags when playing Thief or Forza 5. However, I would not recommend being far from your Xbox console, as the wireless controller can get disconnected.
Hololens is amazing. It can be used for serious work and for fun. I hope this post shows you yet another possibility that Hololens opens up to us.