Microsoft first announced that Minecraft would eventually be playable with the Oculus Rift last year. Since then, Minecraft has launched for Samsung's Gear VR, giving a taste of what a full-fledged VR experience would be like for the game. Gamers that have waited for a full Minecraft VR experience can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the Windows 10 version of the game has received an important update.
Microsoft made the announcement today that Minecraft Windows 10 Edition Beta now supports the Oculus Rift. The team supporting Minecraft detailed some of the new features and thought processes going on in the Windows 10 variant of the game. Some of those new features include:
- Stutter view: Fast and smooth view changes made by moving a player's head proved to be disorienting, so the VR version of the game will use a “stutter view” that, when a player wants to rotate their horizontal orientation beyond a standard anchored aspect, a 22.5 degree turn can be made using their controller of choice.
- Controller choice: Minecraft Windows 10 Edition with an Oculus Rift will support either an Xbox One controller or the keyboard & mouse input when playing the game.
- Visual upgrades: In the updated Windows 10 version of Minecraft, players can sharpen details in view by enabling MSAA as well as increase view distances. Note that you'll need a competent video card within your PC or enabling these video settings will likely result in reduce frame rate performance.
- DirectX 11 optimization that allows the inclusion of both the new visual features with Oculus Rift as well as those that were introduced in the Minecraft Gear VR Edition.
- Custom tuning for performance and comfort while playing using the Oculus Rift.
Lots of thought went in to making the VR version of Minecraft. With all of the new features and capabilities, the Minecraft team wanted to make sure that no competitive advantages were given to people that played using the Oculus Rift while providing a richer experience when building and playing through the worlds created by players.
If you want to experience Minecraft in all its VR glory, you'll need the Oculus Rift headset and an updated Minecraft Windows 10 Edition game to enable VR features. If you have an older video card you will run the risk of not being able to play the game as intended. The team over at Oculus recommends graphics cards that are equivalent or more powerful than a NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD 290 for smooth gameplay. The VR update is free to anyone that already owns the Windows version of the game.