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Microsoft reveals HoloLens 2, Epic's Tim Sweeney pledges long-term Unreal Engine support

Microsoft reveals HoloLens 2, Epic's Tim Sweeney pledges long-term Unreal Engine support

The Big M has shown off the second iteration of its HoloLens AR headset.

Microsoft revealed the tech at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress event, saying that the hardware is more comfortable and features eye-tracking magic to make projections seem more natural.

Much like its 2016 predecessor, HoloLens 2 doesn't come cheap, coming in at a cool $3,500. Right now, the tech is being aimed at businesses for enterprise use.

On-stage during the unveiling, Epic's Tim Sweeney said that Unreal Engine support for the AR hardware is in the works and will be rolled out to developers in May of this year. It's clear that the Fortnite boss isn't talking about game development, rather the enterprise audience that Microsoft is targeting. Sweeney did, however, say that Epic is in the AR scene for the long-term, so it's likely we'll be seeing Unreal powering augmented reality games in the future.

Furthermore, Sweeney praised Microsoft's open approach to development for HoloLens, saying that he doesn't want to see walled gardens appearing around this emerging market. Just three years ago, the Epic boss was publicly clashing with the Big M over its new Universal Windows Platform and the Microsoft Store for being a closed platform.

"Epic Games and Microsoft have been close partners for almost 25 years and we've really helped to shape the industry together with DirectX and Unreal, with Xbox and Gears of War and, most recently, in opening up Fortnite with cross-platform play between seven device families," the Epic boss said.

"Now we are here witnessing the birth of an entirely new generation of technology with augmented reality and HoloLens. I believe that AR is going to be the primary platform of the future for both work and for entertainment. AR is going to play such an intimate role in our lives that we've got to establish clear ground rules respecting everyone's rights. That means open platforms, open ecosystems and privacy protections that put the user first. That is exactly what Microsoft is launching here today. Epic will fully support Microsoft's HoloLens strategy now and for the long-term. We're starting with the Unreal Engine. HoloLens is up and running now and coming to all developers in May. Unreal enables television and film producers, architects and industrial designers to bring photo-realistic final pixels to HoloLens in real time. At Epic Games, we also make games - perhaps you have heard of some of them - and though I'm not here to announce a game or AR strategy yet, I am here to tell you that in the years to come, Epic will support HoloLens in all of our endeavours. We'll support HoloLens as an open platform and we will resist attempts to build walled gardens around our lives."


Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he was hired to launch PCGamesInsider.biz for Steel Media before departing the firm in October 2019.

He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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