Microsoft has just announced the Microsoft Teams metaverse, which will allow for video calls and meetings. However, Microsoft also plans to offer gaming and entertainment. Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, stated that the company is completely focused on gaming in the Xbox metaverse.
Nadella says that you can expect us to do great things in gaming. Halo is a game. Flight Sim is also a metaverse. They are 2D in a sense. The question is, can you make that a 3D world? We plan to.
For years, we have waited to see what Microsoft does for Minecraft in order to make it a virtual world for AR and VR headsets. At the introduction of the HoloLens headset in 2011, the company first demonstrated the potential for Minecraft with AR. It was a great experience that impressed all who tried it. Although it looked like a special version was being developed for the HoloLens, we have only seen Minecraft Earth, an augmented reality mobile game that is mobile, since then.
It is a challenging task to transform Minecraft, Halo and Flight Sim into fully 3D environments. This will be possible if players can explore these environments together with AR or VR headsets. Microsoft Flight Simulator already allows players to fly planes in a multi-player environment that replicates real-world locations and weather. Flight Simulator and Minecraft also support VR.
Nadella has not yet committed to when exactly Microsoft will push into a third-dimensional metaverse for gaming. Microsoft's announcements to enterprise today focus mainly on 3D avatars, shared virtual spaces, and Xbox already has its own 3D avatars since years. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft adapts AltspaceVR's social network and first-party apps for metaverse applications on Xbox. And whether or not the company will ever offer VR and AR headsets for Xbox consoles.