Minecraft coming to Samsung Gear VR, for real Microsoft and Oculus announce new games headed to VR

At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft re-announced that Minecraft would be coming to the Samsung Gear VR.

Last September, in their keynote presentation, Oculus made the initial announcement that “Minecraft will be shipping next spring on Rift and Gear VR.” The cheaper, $99 version of the Gear VR was also first introduced in the same presentation. In October, John Carmack, CTO of Oculus, once again confirmed via a tweet that work was being done to port the game to both the Oculus and the Gear VR platforms.

Tweet John Carmack

And now, the company has re-announced the game’s spring arrival on the Gear VR platform. A Microsoft spokesperson stated that the Gear VR would be running the Pocket Edition of Minecraft, “while Minecraft on the Oculus Rift headset will run Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition.” They explained that the VR systems differ in hardware and the Gear VR focuses more heavily on mobile games. This explains the decision for the Gear VR to run the Pocket Edition, along with the announcement’s focus on the Gear VR. However, “players will have a similar gameplay experience on both headsets, and features and updates for both versions of the game will be largely the same.”

“Players will have a similar gameplay experience on both headsets”

The spokesperson also said that there are currently no details regarding when the game will be available, or what its price will be. However, Minecraft Pocket Edition is available for $6.99 on Android and iOS devices, so the Gear VR’s edition will likely be priced lower than the Oculus’ version of the game. As for performance, Minecraft Pocket Edition runs well with the highest settings on most of Samsung’s phones. Among those tested were the Note 5, S6, and S6 Edge, which all played the game smoothly. As these smartphones are among the devices compatible with the Gear VR headset, it is likely that the new VR version of Pocket Edition will run just as well as the non-VR version.

This is not the only recent announcement concerning Oculus and the Gear VR. As reported last week by CommonGeek, Oculus just introduced social functions to the Gear VR, bringing social networking, online video, and gaming together into one virtual experience.

On March 16, Oculus also released the list of 30 games that will be launching with Rift on March 28, along with unvealing Oculus Home, “[a] way to explore your library, discover new content, and connect with your friends in VR.”

Oculus Home

Screenshot of Oculus Home, displaying a friends list and games against a virtual backdrop

The announcement provided a full list of the 30 games available day one, a trailer that shows some gameplay from these games, and a screenshot of the store. The store screenshot showcases some of the day one games, with prices ranging from $14.99 to $59.99.

The Samsung Gear VR is available from Amazon and Best Buy now for $99.99, and is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge. The Oculus Rift will be released on March 28, and is available for preorder for $599.


Editor’s note: This was a topic on this week’s CommonGeek RoundTable podcast. Click here to listen.

About the author

Riley Walker

Nerd writer from Virginia. Currently attending the College of William & Mary and pursuing a degree in English. Triple Platinum Executive Assistant to RC Beiler & contributing writer for CommonGeek.tv #TriplePlat