Here's a video showing how HoloLens could augment existing popular Xbox and PC games

Twitter user @Tanfuku showed a concept for how HoloLens could expand the capabilities of existing games by displaying UI elements outside of the game world.

It's something we've theorized as a possibility in the past, but this video gives us a better idea of how it could look in practice.

HoloLens専用ゲームも楽しいけど、既存のゲームをHoloLens対応にしても面白いんじゃないかなーと思ってFF14で雰囲気だけ試してみた。UI系を画面の外に置くことで、よりゲームに没頭しやすくなるんじゃないかな?狭い画面でも広く使えそう。#HoloLens #FF14— たぬ 福 (@tanufuku) February 5, 2017

Tanfuku's video shows how HoloLens could be used by the popular MMO Final Fantasy XIV to display stats, maps, inventory menus, and other panels that are entirely necessarily for gameplay, but heavily clutter up the interface.

Systems like the Nintendo 3DS and Wii-U also make use of extra displays to show menus, maps, and other UI elements to prevent them from interfering with the main game itself.

Microsoft has also dabbled with these sorts of features, with Xbox Smartglass. Using a phone app, some games were able to display second-screen functionality and even gameplay. An early version of Tom Clancy's The Division had a full-blown tablet companion game, allowing users to control an in-game support drone via Windows 8-based touch devices. I saw The Division's drone companion app running on a Surface 2 back at Gamescom 2014, and found it to be very impressive. Sadly, it never made it to the full game due to balancing issues. HoloLens could make these second screen experiences far more compelling.

Getting developers to make use of Smartglass appeared to be an uphill struggle for Xbox, with very few games supporting the feature. A platform like HoloLens could blow it wide open, however, as it offers far more versatility, and frankly, better usability than having to stare down at your phone, then back up at your TV.

How would you use HoloLens to augment games? Do you think this sort of feature could drive adoption in Windows Holographic? Drop us a comment!

See HoloLens at Microsoft

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!