Minecraft Gets Samsung Gear VR Treatment, New Headset Impresses At Game Developers Conference

More Minecraft fans will find it even more difficult to stay away from their games once the title has been fully ported to the Samsung Gear VR, and other virtual reality devices for that matter.

That was what happened when Samsung launched its new Gear VR headset at the Game Developers Conference this week in San Francisco. The Korean manufacturer used Minecraft to showcase the features of its new VR device.

According to the report, the building-block game came to life, and looked definitely more stunning in virtual reality than in 2D screens. Using the Gear VR, it is quite easy to get lost inside the virtual reality especially if you have your own home and build it using LEGO-like blocks.

There are reportedly two kinds of gameplay for Minecraft VR, one of which focuses on building, and the other on exploring. The graphics are cartoonish and seem outdated, although that is how Minecraft looks even in other platforms where it is available.

Minecraft has long been considered one of the most popular games of this generation, and it focuses on gameplay rather than graphics. Released back in 2009, the game has become a global phenomenon. It is like living in your own LEGO world where everything can be built using blocks.

Originally created by Swedish programmer, Markus "Notch" Persson, the game was then developed and published by Mojang. Meanwhile, seeing the great potential of the game, Microsoft bought Minecraft in 2014 for $2.5 billion, and made it available on various platforms.

Samsung is the first manufacturer to use Minecraft and place it inside a virtual reality headset. It certainly did a fine job, and the experience is immersive, although the report cited a number of weaknesses in its presentation.

Probably due to the fact that the Korean manufacturer was in a hurry to use Minecraft, the report said that there were some problems with the camera, the inventory and health menu, and the text. Camera transitions can be slow and could cause nausea for first-timers; although, overall, the experience was good.

Despite some rough edges in the Gear VR demo, it is definitely a great start for Minecraft to cross the borders of 2D and 3D, and into virtual reality. The game will hit the Gear VR later this year.

Aside from the Samsung Gear VR, Facebook's Oculus Rift headset will also make its debut this year, and it will also include Minecraft as one of the games in its virtual reality arsenal.

Unfortunately, those interested may need to save up for a powerhouse computer in order to run the Rift.

In addition, the Oculus Rift will reportedly cost a whopping $599, and that's just for the headset and not including the computer that you need to run it. On the other hand, the Gear VR only costs $99, which is not bad, considering the consumer would get a chance to have his own virtual reality within his reach.

The minor drawback of using the Gear VR is that the user should have a compatible Samsung smartphone, probably the most recent flagship ones, in order to run Gear VR.

Taiwanese manufacturer HTC will also launch its HTC Vive virtual reality headset, and release some games for it. Hopefully, Minecraft will also be among those games.

Meanwhile, Microsoft, who currently owns Minecraft, could be planning to release a version of the game in its own Gear VR, the HoloLens headset. Last year, the company created a Minecraft demo for the HoloLens, although no release date has been specified.

[Images via Flickr and Scott Eisen/Getty Images]