Microsoft’s star controller just became a bit more versatile.
The house of Windows announced today that its newest wireless controller for the Xbox One will soon become compatible with the Samsung Gear VR. — which currently leads the field in the mobile sector of a virtual reality industry that could be worth $30 billion industry by 2020, according to tech adviser Digi-Capital.
The mobile virtual reality platform’s version of Minecraft, the hit block-building game, will be the first to receive support for the controller in October, with other controller-enabled titles receiving the feature later. This makes sense, as Microsoft owns Minecraft’s creator, Mojang.
The Xbox One controller is on its third version, which notably added Bluetooth support. Before, Microsoft used its own wireless connection proprietary communication protocol, which it made it difficult for the controller to talk with other devices. With Bluetooth support, it’s easier to make the device work with platforms like Gear VR. A wireless controller is essential for many VR games, since you can’t connect a wired controller to mobile devices. Also, unlike most mobile games, you can’t use the phone itself as a controller, since the device is strapped to your head when using VR.
“With Minecraft: Gear VR Edition, players can get right inside the world of Minecraft and build, explore, and battle mobs — all with a fresh perspective,” Microsoft noted on its site. “Following a game update in October to supported Android devices, your new Xbox Wireless Controller can be paired to work directly through your Gear VR device for use with Minecraft: Gear VR Edition.”
The Xbox One controller is one of the most popular of its kind, thanks to its comfortable size, shape, and button layout. Making it compatible with the Gear VR could make that virtual reality platform more attractive to gamers who already have the Xbox Wireless Controller.