Virtual reality made a major appearance in Microsoft’s E3 press conference earlier today with more details on the upcoming HoloLens and a surprise partnership announcement with Valve.
First, Microsoft announced that it would be partnering with both Valve, the company behind Steam and the Half Life series, and Oculus VR in both of their virtual reality projects respectively. The partnership with Oculus would entail Xbox One controller support for the Oculus Rift upon launch, but also a surprise declaration that an Xbox One controller will be shipped with every Oculus Rift headset sold upon its release to the market. This major change did not bring any news of possible price changes that could be made to accommodate the bundling of a controller with every headset.
For Microsoft’s new partnership with Valve VR, the company stated that it will be working closely with them to make “Windows 10 the best platform for VR gaming.” No other details have currently been made public.
The Microsoft HoloLens also made an appearance at the press conference in a live demonstration of its usage with Minecraft. The company announced that Minecraft will receive a special update to the game that will allow it to function with the HoloLens upon release. The live demonstration showed the continuation of cross-platform gameplay with players with the HoloLens able to play Minecraft as normal with other players, with the system being used as a virtual reality headset.
However, the HoloLens will allow for users to switch to an overview of the game world in Minecraft as the demo showed. In this second part of the demonstration, a table was used to allow for the user to look at the world from above on top of the table. In addition, the HoloLens allows for one to “play god” and move around the world both above ground and underground with simple hand gestures and even strike lightning down upon the world.
The presentation concluded with an announcement that more details on the future of HoloLens and Minecraft will be available on July 4th and July 5th at Minecon 2015 in London.
What are your thoughts on the new partnerships between Microsoft and Oculus and Valve on controller functionality? Will these new partnerships possibly affect the future development of Microsoft HoloLens and if so, will it be for better or for worse? Let us know in the comments below!