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Folks who have always wanted to visit the vast worlds they’ve created in Minecraft will finally get that opportunity next spring as Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey announces that the insanely popular build-it-yourself game is heading to the Rift.
Luckey made the big announcement on stage this morning during the Oculus Connect event in Hollywood, Gamasutra is reporting, saying that the partnership should bring the game to the Oculus Rift headset before next summer.
Mojang’s Lydia Winters went on to reveal that you’ll need Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition in order to play with Rift support, so get ready to (literally) dive into that blocky wonderland all over again.
All of this will be part of an evolution for gaming, Luckey explained, moving us one step closer to what he referred to as the “metaverse,” or a persistent VR world. For anime fans who can’t get enough of Sword Art Online, Log Horizon or any of the other dozen shows about people getting stuck in a virtual world, it looks like those fantasies are closer than they’ve ever been.
The partnering of Minecraft and the Rift makes perfect sense, as games that require less demanding graphics and whatnot will help build the foundation of what can be possible in the future. Lots of developers are working on games geared at being played in VR, but most of the titles that boast more realistic worlds tend to take place in smaller amounts of space. With a game like Minecraft, players should be able to explore a vast world with minimal issues from the very beginning. That’s impressive and the result of some extremely convenient timing.
I’m excited to hear Luckey and the team at Oculus are so excited about the idea of virtual worlds, because that’s the biggest aspect of VR I’m most excited to experience. Flying a plane in War Thunder is rad and battling dinosaurs in ARK certainly sounds like a grand time, but what I really yearn for is the sense of discovery you get from simply exploring an unknown space. Give me a game for Oculus or PlayStation VR that takes place on a massive island where I can simply run around for hours on end and I’ll be a happy camper.
All of that aside, this is huge news for folks who just really like playing Minecraft, too. Rather than explore a world that’s been created for you, you’ll finally be able to step into a space that you yourself have created. I can only imagine at the moment how cool it will be to load up a castle I’ve built in Minecraft and then look around that space from every angle. Honestly, I figured the world might be ready to move on from Minecraft in the coming years but, if it turns out to be the killer app I think it could be for VR, I imagine folks will be building and exploring worlds for another decade to come.