First Look at Virtual Reality Minecraft At Xbox Showcase

6 min read
29 September 2022

First look at virtual reality Minecraft at Xbox showcase Dave Lee North America technology reporter

1 March 2016

Millions of gamers are addicted to Minecraft. Microsoft now shows us how virtual reality can be developed.

Microsoft purchased the block-building phenomenon in 2014 for $2.5bn (PS1.8bn) which was an enormous sum that left fans of the game concerned about its future.

The US firm said it would not ruin its popular formula and instead invest in Minecraft.

The Xbox division launched the first version of virtual reality Minecraft at a San Francisco event.

"It makes you feel as if you're in the world of Minecraft," said Palmer Luckey, creator of the Oculus Rift VR headset.

As with many VR experiences, it's completely captivating. It is a great opportunity to experience the addictive creation process on a VR screen.

However, for a game that is popular with children, there's a figure that could be a concern for parents that is $1,500.

This is the recommended amount to purchase an Oculus headset and a powerful PC to power it.

It's surely too expensive So I suggested it to Mr. Luckey.

"It isn't," he said.

"I I mean, it's expensive in comparison to other devices out in the world but when you consider it as compared to a mobile phone or television, you're getting a lot more technology.

"It's not like it's a piece of hardware that's simple, and the price is expected to decrease as time passes."

It'll have to be slowed down pretty sharp-ish if it is to be adopted by mainstream audiences in the near future.

I am expecting a small revival of the games arcade. Minecraft java This is an area where people can play video games of the highest quality that they can't afford to buy for themselves.

Big titles

Oculus Minecraft was one of several games that were on display at the Xbox Spring Showcase. This allowed journalists (and some YouTube stars) the opportunity to play a few of the upcoming blockbusters.

I spent an hour in the enthralling world of Quantum Break. It's a video game where you play Jack Joyce, an uncooperative action hero who gains the ability to manipulate time after an experiment went wrong.

If that sounds like yet another predictable scenario for a game, you'd be right. However, the game's mechanics (think "bullet time" but with a twist) make it something special.

Also, be sure to read Tom Clancy's The Division -- set in a meticulously accurate-to-life Manhattan.

A number of the titles featured on the show were also being pushed as games that are great to play on PC, via Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system.

"If you look at the figures, PC gaming is the fastest growing segment of gaming out there," said head of Xbox Phil Spencer.

"It's normal that we'd concentrate on gaming on Windows."

Virtual plans

Microsoft has decided not to create its own headset for virtual reality. However it is working on the Hololens-specific Hololens. Instead it is working on make it compatible with Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

Concerning the price debate on the price, Mr. Spencer stated that he believed that virtual reality will follow the model of high-definition TVs which are a luxury item to start with however, it is a challenge to resist once experienced.

"The early adopters will be around to help propel the VR industry," he said.

Given the fact that Sony's PlayStation 4 will soon get its own VR headset, I wondered whether Microsoft might consider creating its own VR headset.

"I believe it is a must to be something that is part of our roadmap," he said. He stressed that Windows 10 was now fully compatible with VR titles however he didn't mention this.

'Not hacked'

Of course, new games are nothing if players are able to connect online to play them. This has been a challenge.

The poor reliability of Xbox Live - the service Xbox gamers use to play each other on the internet has resulted in the stressing of thousands.

Snoop Dogg is one of the disgruntled fans. He pleaded with Bill Gates to fix the issue, or else he'd change to PlayStation.

Mr Spencer apologized for the issues.

"It's clearly always regretful," he said.

"This last outage was a worry, we learned from it. It took us a little longer to grasp the issue but it was evident.

He denied that the company was the victim of hacking and said that, even though the company's network was constantly under attack, it wasn't, like claimed, destroyed by an orchestrated effort to cause gamers to be disconnected.

The risk of losing Snoop Dogg: "Snoop's been a long-time gamer and long-time fan of Xbox.

"I understand when people get upset. I take it as an expression of the love and devotion people feel for what we offer as a game platform."

Follow Dave Lee on Twitter @DaveLeeBBC and on Facebook.

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