Back at Oculus Connect 2 last year, Palmer Luckey made the surprise announcement that Minecraft would be coming to the Oculus Rift. Today, we finally know when support will be implemented.
Mojang’s Tommaso Checchi has taken to Twitter to confirm that Oculus integration will reach the Windows 10 edition of Minecraft next week. The developer clarified that the support was originally meant to hit with the 0.15.6 update for the game, but the date had now changed. You can expect to play the VR version of the game with a gamepad, though the experience is fundamentally unchanged from the original phenomenon that many of us know and love.
Oculus Touch support may also come later down the line.
PSA: unsurprisingly, promised dates change 🙂
We said that Rift support would be in 0.15.6, but it will be out next week instead!
— Tommaso Checchi (@_tomcc) August 11, 2016
Minecraft‘s release on Rift marks the end of a long and tumultuous journey for the game’s VR support. All the way back in 2014 the game’s creator, Markus ‘Notch’ Persson cancelled plans for an Oculus Rift compatible version of Minecraft following the news that Oculus itself was to be purchased by Facebook for $2 billion. Notch noted that the social networking giant “creeps me out” in a very public rebuttal of the deal.
Of course, Notch went on to sell Minecraft to Microsoft for an even larger amount ($2.4 billion), which made this deal possible. Oculus CTO John Carmack was instrumental in getting the game on Oculus platforms, publically pursuing a partnership over the likes of Twitter. In fact, Carmack spent much of his time over the past few years helping to get the game onto Gear VR, where it launched earlier in 2016.
It remains to be seen where Minecraft’s VR support will go from here. We’re hoping that an HTC Vive version that supports position-tracked controls could be on the cards along with PlayStation VR support for the PlayStation 4 version. We wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the game will headline Microsoft’s software line-up for its upcoming Project Scorpio console, which is also VR enabled. On top of all of that, we’re still waiting on the previously-seen HoloLens edition of the game.
For now, though, we’re just grateful that it’s even got this far.