At the beginning of 2015, Microsoft showed off the HoloLens, an ambitious headset that displays digital images over the world around you, using a technology commonly referred to as augmented reality. Today at a big press event in New York City, the company announced that HoloLens will be available in the first quarter of 2016 starting at a price of $3,000 — but only for software developers.
The company also showed off a "mixed reality" gaming demo on the HoloLens at the event, in which a player equipped with a virtual blaster cannon displayed on his hand fought off a horde of attacking aliens that popped through a hole in his wall.
Microsoft's approach with the HoloLens, which allows you to see digital information displayed over your view of the world around you, is a marked difference from Facebook and Google, both of which are working on virtual reality headsets that block the world around you, while immersing you in a completely virtual one.
However, Microsoft and Facebook are working together to support Facebook subsidiary Oculus's VR headset, which is also expected to ship in 2016 with a Microsoft Xbox and Xbox controller.