Microsoft Minecraft for Windows 10 beta now supports Oculus Rift

Microsoft is delivering a free update to the Minecraft for Windows 10 beta that adds support for Oculus Rift virtual-reality headsets.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is adding a free update to the beta version of Minecraft for Windows 10 that will bring Oculus Rift headset compatibility to the game.



Microsoft has been known to be working the Oculus team as of a year ago on developing a virtual-reality-enabled version of Minecraft.

Microsoft officials said today, August 15, that Minecraft's Windows 10 DX11 performance "has been optimized even further to augment the VR experience." In addition to the VR features Microsoft added to the Gear VR Edition of Minecraft, Microsoft also added some additional new options, such as support for keyboard and mouse and VR control options for "immersive comfortable turning" when using the Xbox One controller.

In a nod to the old "your files are right where you left them" Windows 10 messages, Microsoft officials noted that "many VR-specific options which affect comfort or rendering performance are recorded separately, so you can customize your VR experience, and still retain your traditional Minecraft experience exactly how you left it... when you left the real world, for the world of VR Minecraft!"

Microsoft's VR plans go beyond Oculus, obviously.

Microsoft officials said in June that the company isn't just limiting the Windows 10 variant tuned to work with HoloLens -- also known as the Windows Holographic platform -- to the HoloLens. Microsoft is opening up the Windows Holographic platform to any companies that want to build devices that can handle "mixed reality." Microsoft will be talking to OEMs about its plans on this front during the first week of November at WinHEC.

Microsoft is hoping its hardware partners will adapt the Windows Holographic platform so that virtual reality devices will be able to incorporate real-world objects, and augmented reality devices will incorporate holograms. Microsoft is pitching Windows Holographic as a way to get different AR/VR/mixed reality devices to be able to communicate cross-platform as the market matures.

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