Facebook’s purchase of virtual reality (VR) specialist Oculus VR was met by some strong opposition when it was announced back in April 2014. Minecraft creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson was among those against the news, infamously scrapping plans for a version of his ever-popular phenomenon that supported the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD). A year and a half on and Minecraft is out of the developer’s hands – having been sold to Microsoft for $2.5 billion USD – and back on for Oculus Rift and Gear VR. While Persson is ‘still upset’ by the deal, he’s happy that Minecraft VR is happening.
“My opinion on minecraft/oculus? Neato!” the developer recently noted over on Twitter. When later asked about his feelings on the Facebook deal, which he had once noted he had gotten over, Persson wrote: “still upset they took Kickstarter money and sold to Facebook out of all people, also still excited about the product.” He is of course referring to Oculus VR’s 2012 Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign, which famously saw the company raise $2,437,429 that went towards building the kit’s first development kit (DK1). Oculus VR itself has noted that it fulfilled its Kickstarter requirements.
With Microsoft now in control, Minecraft is making its debut on a number of new technologies. Along with the promised VR version, the title has been showcased running on the company’s own mixed reality (MR) HMD, HoloLens. Last seen at E3, this version of the title allowed one Xbox One user to play with title as per usual while another player with the HoloLens on could explore a fully 3D hologram of that world, using hand gestures to scroll through it and leaning in through buildings to get a view inside of structures.
The VR versions of Minecraft are due in spring 2016. VRFocus will continue to follow the title closely, reporting back with the latest updates on it.