Minecraft was all but destined for a liaison with virtual reality. So is it any surprise that Microsoft's showing off the Windows 10 version of the popular sandbox builder for the Oculus Rift?
You'd think a blocky game like Minecraft would fare poorly with VR's fledgling contenders, all running at relatively low resolutions, given their proximity to your face. No one complains about a 1080p standard high-definition TV viewed 10 or 15 feet away, but stick your eyeballs a few inches from a pair of tiny 1080 by 1200 screens, and the pixels loom large. Imagine a game who's stock in trade is low-fidelity, block-based graphics viewed through that.
Except that's the opposite of what folks who had a chance to take Minecraft with Oculus for a spin are saying.
Engadget calls it "one of the best and more immersive VR experiences I've had thus far," and notes that the "lack of fine detail actually helps," giving the game a cartoon-like feel. And The Next Web, whose writer found the experience so upending it induced nausea, says "when I forgot about the thing on my face and the controller in my hand, I felt like I was actually living in Minecraft."
Or take Wired's Chris Kohler, who summarizes: "Holy crap, kids are going to flip over this." And so, I suspect, are parents, when their savvy teens--Oculus has warned no one under 13 should use the Rift--start begging to strap on headsets for hours at a time.
Microsoft didn't specify a release timeframe, but it sounds like the Oculus version will have two modes: One where you're effectively playing the game in a virtual space on a virtual TV screen, the other where you're fully immersed in one of the game's innumerable worlds.
And the former, I presume, will be your metaphorical barf bag indemnification against spending too much time in the latter.