Mojang announced that its wildly popular virtual building block game, Minecraft, is now available for the Oculus Rift. The Windows 10 Edition Beta edition of the game received a free update that enables Rift support.
Minecraft is one of the most popular games around. To date, the PC version of the game has sold well over 24 million copies. The game is also available on practically every other device you can think of, including two generations of Xbox, two generations of PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, and every mobile platform available these days.
At the end of February, Mojang and Oculus showed members of the press an early build of the Oculus Rift version of Minecraft, and it didn’t go over as well as you might have hoped. Nausea was a common response to the game’s motion mechanics. The developers actually somewhat expected that reaction, though. The game features two separate viewing modes. There’s a fully immersed first person mode, and there’s a virtual living room mode that puts you in a virtual room with a large screen where the game is displayed. The game was designed to enable toggling between these two modes at any time, so you can “take a break” as needed. Mojang kept both modes of Minecraft VR in the game for the public release. The developer said that the virtual living room is “a great way to minimize the intensity of VR without breaking play.”
Minecraft VR for the Oculus Rift features support for keyboard and mouse and for the Xbox One controller. The developer added snap turning to minimize decoupled rotation in VR. Rather than a smooth spin, you are rotated 22-degrees instantly, which is much more comfortable to experience. The Oculus Rift edition of Minecraft also gets some graphical improvements. The game now supports MSAA and updated render distance settings to take advantage of high-end VR-ready hardware.
Minecraft VR for the Oculus Rift is available today but you will need Windows 10 to play it. The VR edition of the game is a free update for the Minecraft Windows 10 Edition Beta. The update is free, so if you have the Window 10 version already, you won’t have to pay for the VR version. You do have to install a new game launcher through the Oculus Home store (opens in new tab), though.