March 23, 2019

Xbox One Latest Update: Anything to Do with HoloLens?

 

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Microsoft had released a minor update for Xbox One on June 5th. Microsoft have said on its Xbox website that the update only include a few fixes. But also added one thing:

10-bit HD High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) platform support added

Also, yesterday evening, Forbes reported that Microsoft’s Larry Hyrb had tweeted that there is new update to Xbox One, that may change the interface to prepare for the future.

Your Xbox One will get a small update today. No new features. Just a few behind the scenes changes to prepare for the future.

I couldn’t find that tweet, so not sure if that’s the same thing as the first one above or different one. There is no log for that yet on Xbox One support page. Forbes said it might be something relates to UI change. That’s pure speculation, I don’t really buy that theory, because it makes no sense to me to change UI knowing Windows 10 will kick in within two months.

I suspect the above two (if they are not the same) are both related to E3, but how? We know E3 is all about games. The main stage will be set for new titles, a lot of snake peeks and demo plays. However, I think E3 wouldn’t be complete without stream between Xbox One and PCs.  In the context of HEVC, Microsoft mentioned video streaming like Netflix. If that’s just improvement over video streaming, it won’t make it to the news at all.  I am not sure if HEVC is newly added or 10-bit HEVC is newly added. I hope for the first. HEVC is said to have doubled the compression ratio over MPEG and MP4. That’s pretty big.

You already know I am hoping for game streaming, that’s totally different thing than video streaming because the former doesn’t tolerant delays. HEVC will certainly make video transmission much faster, but if the codec process is too slow, it can cause overhead too.

The bigger question is: will it make it to HoloLens? Why do I ask this question? Because 1. For HoloLens, streaming makes a night-or-day difference. 2. A new codec means streaming through WIFI would be possible.

I will be disappointed if this won’t happen in E3.

Field Of Vision: A Short Story

Windows 10 SKUs: The Most Concise List

HoloLens at E3 – What to Expect

 

 

HoloLens: Recommended Reading – Stream Xbox One Games to Windows 10 PC

 

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Tom Warren posted this article: Streaming Xbox One games to a Windows 10 PC is awesome on April 30 (during the Build Conference). If you care about HoloLens, this is great new. That’s why recommend to read that article and watch the video again.

Why is this important? Imagine replacing the laptop with a HoloLens. Hook it with Xbox One and the controller. Start Xbox App in HoloLens, select a game to play. You get the game plays on Xbox, it uses Xbox CPU and GPU but HoloLens as a display. The only thing is missing is how to have a wired connection between Xbox One and a HoloLens.

However streaming alone won’t make HoloLens desirable unless HoloLens can show the game contents in 3D. Actually, most game plays already in 3D format, just need HoloLens to realize that. I feel this is very close to reality once Windows 10 is released.

 

HoloLens: Field of View (FOV) Collections

 

 

HoloLens at E3 – What to Expect

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A week from today, on June 15th, E3 will start in Los Angeles. Exhibition dates are from 16 to 18, but press events start June 15th.

The major events we are looking at are:

Microsoft press conference – June 15 at 12:30am ET

This is traditional Xbox time slot. New games would be the main theme, but there could be more.

PC Gaming conference – June 16 at 8:00pm ET

This is the first time PC gaming is premiered in E3. Microsoft’s involvement could be the main reason, and Windows 10 is the reason behind all these.

 

So, how does HoloLens fit into this?

First, as Alex Kipman said during Build 2015, HoloLens is a mobile gaming device. Games developed targeting HoloLens will be relatively light weighted games. However, streaming from Xbox to PCs is sure to happen. HoloLens is a PC, right? Why would it be a problem with HoloLens? Here is the thing: Stream from Xbox to PC is through wire. Wireless streaming is still not a reality dues to the bandwidth, but what’s wrong with wired streaming from Xbox to HoloLens. Nothing wrong for a gamer. I certainly don’t mind wearing HoloLens while playing Xbox games with cable connecting the two.

If streaming like that happens, I guarantee every Xbox owners own a HoloLens within two years.

I am not a gamer, but if there is HoloLens involved, I will be.

 

 

Field Of Vision: A Short Story

* This post is filed under Fictional Reality genre.

 

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When: April 21, 2015. Three months after HoloLens first unveiling to the public, one week before Build 2015.

Where: Lab 12. One of most secretive bunkers under the vast land of Redmond.

Characters: Terry, a cooperate executive in Redmond. Joe, a highly publicized cooperate VP who reports to Terry. Alex, an inventor and tenured researcher who is in charge of Project HoloLens.

Settings: A self-service bar with highest security possible. The lock can only be opened when Terry, Joe and Alex are present at the same time. Each of them are holding a separate 128 byte key by a special GUID generator. They all have to memorize them. The lock can only be opened with that 384 characters.

 

It’s 4:00 in the morning. The sky looks more grimy than it should be, and this is the 5th days of non-stopping rain. “April rain, May flowers”, as the saying goes, but you have to realize this is Redmond.

Alex drives his SUV from his office in main campus Building 24  to Lab 12. After first security check, he is allowed to park his car in front of the lab. Terry and Joe are already waiting in front of the door. It’s a routine: three line up in order of T-J-A, and type their 128 byte password, they have to all finish within 30 second.

The room is tinny and simple. Terry sits down. Joe sits down, so does Alex.

Terry:  “What the hell is that little light flashing over the table?”

Joe: “That is Alex’s new prototype HoloLens,” winking to Alex.

Terry: “Didn’t they say no electronics is allowed in this room?” Terry smashed the HoloLens into pieces with a construction hammer.

Alex: “Terry, you just destroyed my entire night of work!”

Terry: “So?”

Alex is left shaking his head.

Terry: “OK, guys. Again congrats for the show of Windows 10, particularly, the HoloLens! Now we have another show to  do next week: the Build Conference… What’s wrong with your face Alex?”

Alex: “What?”

Terry: “Joe, how does he look?”

Joe: “Miserable?”

Alex: “No, I don’t… Ah, well, I am stressed out.”

Terry: “Go ahead…”

Alex: “OK, gentlemen, we have a tough choice here. The Cherry Trail didn’t work out on HoloLens. We need a more powerful one, but that won’t be available soon enough for the Build. So, we have 500 HoloLens ready in the truck for San Francisco this morning. We can either have a small FOV with no image shifting, no nauseating, or big FOV with noticeable the other two.”

Terry: “Shit! What do you think?”

Alex: “Well, I don’t know. That’s why we are here.”

Terry: “OK. Head for small FOV, tail for nauseating.  I throw this quarter, Joe catch it in the air and pan it to the table.”

The result, as everybody already know is Head.

The meetings happen here are always short and effective, like this one. So out they went.

On the way back to his office, Alex picks up this Lumia 940XL prototype (as a gift from Joe), and calls the guy on the truck: “Where is the truck? OK then, tune down the FOV.”