Oculus’ long fought partnership with Microsoft, to bring the enormously successful social, creative Minecraft franchise to VR, begins with a release to Samsung Gear VR today as the title hits the Oculus Store.
Oculus’ CTO has gone on record saying that he had personally fought hard to bring what he regarded as a key gaming franchise to their virtual reality platform. Since then, Team Minecraft at Mojang and Microsoft have been busy bringing their iconic signature title to virtual reality. Minecraft, the massively multi-player, social creativity mega-franchise, played by millions of people across a myriad gaming systems worldwide, was to arrive on Oculus VR platforms.
“Minecraft is a game that you can both figuratively and literally lose yourself in,” Carmack says, “In fact, my strongest memories of being inside VR are from the time I’ve spent exploring Minecraft on Gear VR. Experiencing it in virtual reality changes it from an abstract activity to a visceral one – it goes from a sense of playing the game to one of being inside your world, and spinning around to find a creeper sneaking up on you leaves a powerful impression. Infinite worlds have been explored, shaped, and shared by millions of people, and now in VR; that sounds a bit like the fabled Metaverse.”
Now, it’s finally here for Samsung’s mobile platform Gear VR, Oculus announced today. This is a big deal of course, Minecraft represents the single most recognisable and influential title on the entire platform, perhaps providing something akin to a ‘killer app’ for many people outside of the virtual reality community (and many within).
Encouragingly too for fans of one of the earliest ‘modded for Rift’ titles (in the form of Minecrift), this new release addresses nausea concerns over first person, joypad/trackpad controlled locomotion by including both the original “more intense” first person mode and a new ‘comfort mode’ which presents the action on a virtual screen within a neat Minecraft-inspired living room of sorts.
In a new blog post announcing the launch, Oculus says that this new Gear VR version included “all the features of Pocket Edition, including Creative and Survival modes, skins, and multiplayer,” and the title does (unsurprisingly) require a gamepad to play.
Minecraft: Gear VR Edition is available now on the Oculus Store, priced $6.99.