Microsoft Showcases Minecraft in VR, Coming to Oculus Rift

Microsoft Showcases Minecraft in VR, Coming to Oculus Rift

Microsoft bought Minecraft maker Mojang in 2014 for $2.5 billion, and at its Tuesday event in San Francisco, the company showcased what Minecraft would feel like on the Oculus Rift.

(Also see: Microsoft Wants Your Xbox One to Be a Gaming PC)

Minecraft is one of the most popular titles in video gaming and is available across all possible gaming platforms - from the PlayStation, Xbox and Wii U to Windows, OS X and Linux and even the Raspberry Pi. Having already sold over 70 million units since its arrival back in 2011, the next logical step for the game is virtual reality. "It makes you feel like you're inside the world of Minecraft," Palmer Luckey, creator of the Oculus Rift said at the event.

That's not necessarily true though, considering there are two ways to enjoy Minecraft with the Rift. The first involves playing a game on a screen inside the screen, which basically looks like a TV inside your headset. It's a good option to have if the whole VR shebang is getting too much, and you need a break. The other way is the standard VR experience, which puts the world of Minecraft all around you.

Most who have experienced Minecraft in VR have touched upon the point of uncanny valley, and how the game manages to avoid that. Because it deals with overtly large pixels and doesn't try to appear realistic, it gives off a cartoonish appeal that manages to be convincing in its own regard.

Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition with Oculus Rift support will be released sometime in the spring, so expect it to be available before end of June. With the first pre-orders of Oculus Rift shipping at the end of this month, Minecraft and its popularity could well be the element responsible for driving up adoption of VR headsets.

(Also see: Oculus Rift PC Bundles Pre-Orders Start From $1,499)

But most argue the system's entry price - at $600 (approx. Rs. 40,500) just for the Oculus Rift and a possible Rs. 65,000 more for a gaming PC that is needed to power the headset - is too high a fee to pay for admission, especially considering the primary audience of Minecraft: children.

The most recent update to Minecraft, noted as 1.9, contains updated combat mechanics to offer more interesting fights and additional map-making options. There are tons of small changes as well, from attaching a cooldown delay to your attacks, expanding 'The End' dimension, adding new head and path blocks in multiple areas, a whole host of new sound effects, and giving swords and axes a new attack ability each. You can find the complete list of changes on the developer's official website.

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Further reading: Microsoft, Minecraft, Mojang, Oculus Rift, VR
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