Microsoft has just announced their Microsoft Teams metaverse for meetings and video calls, but the company also has plans for games and entertainment. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella tells Bloomberg TV that the software maker is “absolutely” focused on games for the meta-verse with the Xbox.
“You can definitely expect us to do things in gaming,” Nadella says. “If you take glory as a game it is a metaverse. Minecraft is a metaverse, and it is Flight Sim. Somehow they are 2D today and the question is whether you can now take it to a full 3D world and we definitely plan to do that. “
We have been waiting to see what Microsoft will do for Minecraft to turn it into a metaverse for VR and AR headsets for years. The company initially showed the potential for Minecraft with augmented reality at the first introduction of the HoloLens headset, which impressed those who tried the experience. It looked like a special version of Minecraft for HoloLens was worked on six years ago, but so far is all we have seen Minecraft Earth, a mobile augmented reality mobile game, Come and Go.
Transformer Minecraft, glory, and Flight Sim entering full 3D worlds is an ambitious project, especially if these environments will allow players to explore them side by side with VR or AR headsets. Microsoft Flight Simulator already does much of this, with players able to control aircraft in a multiplayer environment that mimics real-world weather and locations. Flight Sim and Minecraft even has VR support too.
Nadella has not committed to exactly when we will see Microsoft’s push into a 3D metavers for gaming more broadly. Microsoft’s corporate announcements today are mainly focused on 3D avatars and shared virtual spaces, and the Xbox has had its own 3D avatars for years now. The question will be how Microsoft adapts its social network AltspaceVR and first-party games to metaverse applications on Xbox, and whether the company will ever bring VR or AR headsets to Xbox consoles.