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Microsoft’s Crazy New Tech Totally Explains Why It Bought Minecraft

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Microsoft’s whopping $2.5 billion acquisition of Mojang, the game maker behind Minecraft, left a few analysts scratching their heads last year, but that was before they had laid eyes on — or in — Microsoft’s HoloLens, an augmented reality headset that can transform Minecraft’s virtual worlds into eye-popping 3-D holograms.

Microsoft offered a second demonstration of the game in holographic form at its annual Build developer’s conference this week. It revealed how easily players can take a landscape or a building they’ve already designed in the the game and convert it instantly into a 3-D floating hologram. Microsoft employees showed how one such design, a replica of Seattle’s Space Needle, made the leap to 3-D without a hitch, enabling them to scale the hologram to any size, turn it in the air and rest it on a real-world shelf, Business Insider reports.

The demonstration showed how Microsoft could convert Minecraft’s die hard fan base into HoloLens addicts. With more than 100 million active users, each with their own pre-fabricated designs, that’s a mighty big pool of potential customers for the new platform. Little by little, Microsoft’s vision for the $2.5 billion Minecraft acquisition is snapping into focus.

See How Presidents Age in the White House, According to Microsoft

Barack Obama in January, 2009. Real age: 47Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty Images
Barack Obama in April, 2015. Real age: 53Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP
George W. Bush in April 2001. Real age: 54Antonio Scorza—AFP/Getty Images
George W. Bush in May, 2008. Real age: 61Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty Images
Bill Clinton in January, 1993. Real age: 46White House/AFP/Getty Images
Bill Clinton in January, 2001. Real age: 54Paul J. Richards—AFP/Getty Images
George Bush, Sr. in January, 1989. Real age: 64Cynthia Johnson—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
George Bush, Sr. in December, 1992. Real age: 68Renaud Giroux—AFP/Getty Images
Ronald Reagan in January, 1981. Real age: 70 Harry Langdon—Getty Images
Ronald Reagan in February, 1989. Real age: 78Dirck Halstead—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

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