Minecraft is indisputably one of the most recognized and successful games of all time. Ever since its release, the open world block-building sim has sustained massive sales, typically showing up on each month’s list for the highest grossing software titles, with it recently taking the second slot in the list for the top selling games of August 2015.
Minecraft‘s prosperity is due in no small part to its appeal to practically any age group, as players’ imaginations are what drives the gameplay. It’s popularity with fans and critics alike obviously caught the eye of Microsoft, for they snatched up Mojang for $2.5 billion last year. The tech giant had big plans for the sandbox creation title, as the game was partly purchased in order to help them develop the HoloLens – Microsoft’s augmented reality headset.
Now, Mojang’s once-indie hit is making waves yet again, by announcing that Minecraft is jumping into the VR realm as well. During today’s Oculus Connect conference, it was confirmed that virtual reality support will be coming to Minecraft for the Oculus Rift.
At the forum, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey discussed all of the time he spent in college playing Minecraft instead of doing homework, which worked out rather fortuitously for him and VR fans, since the game will be coming to the Rift. After Luckey broached the topic, Mojang’s Lydia Winters elaborated that the Windows 10 Edition of Minecraft will include Oculus capabilities some time next Spring. Fans can get the particular version of the game by way of the Windows Store or Oculus Store. Plus, if a computer copy is previously owned, gamers can upgrade to the Windows 10 Edition for free.
About a year ago, Minecraft‘s renowned creator Markus “Notch” Persson was unhappy about Oculus VR’s purchase by Facebook, which ultimately led to the cancellation of a proposed version of the game for the Rift. Now, of course, since Notch sold Mojang and all of his assets related to the studio to Microsoft, he has no say in the matter. However, it didn’t take him long to get over the social media titan’s acquisition of the VR company, as he later expressed no ill will toward engineers and developers.
Since Minecraft will soon be getting support for the Oculus, it could mean that VR might well be on its way to making a mark on the mainstream. Nevertheless, with slim pickings in terms of well-known titles thus far and a suggested “all-in” cost of $1500, it’s possible that the lack of games from AAA developers and the high price could cause the Oculus to be dead in the water on its day one launch. Not to mention, some people within the gaming industry are saying that VR isn’t sustainable, as Deus Ex‘s original director Warren Spector thinks virtual reality is a fad. But it’s important to keep an open mind, seeing that a consumer model has yet to get a wide release.
Do you think that Minecraft‘s support of the Oculus Rift will help give virtual reality technology the push that it needs in order to become a contender in the gaming market? If not, is it because you think VR video games to be a passing trend, or do you believe the hardware is too imperfect to be introduced at this point in time?
Minecraft is currently available on practically every gaming medium possible, including Android and iOS devices, Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, while its Oculus Rift support will be available some time in Spring 2016.