At Microsoft’s Ignite 2021 conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella discusses the company intends to bring gaming into the digital world of metaverse with Xbox. The new series of applications will incorporate gaming in a virtual environment.
During her keynote speech, Nadella said that “You can absolutely expect us to do things in gaming. If you take Halo as a game, it is a metaverse. Minecraft is a metaverse, and so is Flight Sim. In some sense, they’re 2D today, and the question is can you now take that to a fully 3D world, and we absolutely plan to do so.” She further explained that “In a sense, the metaverse enables us to embed computing into the real world and to embed the real world into computing, bringing real presence to any digital space.” For some time now many have been anxious to see what Microsoft plans do for Minecraft to transform it into a metaverse for VR and AR headsets. The company initially gave us a glimpse of its potential for Minecraft with augmented reality when we got introduced of the HoloLens headset, which gave game lovers a wow experience. Ever since it looked like a special version of Minecraft for the HoloLens has been in the works, but so far all we’ve seen is Minecraft Earth, a mobile augmented reality mobile game.
Speaking with Bloomberg, Nadella discloses that “For years, we’ve talked about creating this digital representation of the world, but now, we actually have the opportunity to go into that world and participate in it. What’s most important is that we are able to bring our humanity with us, and choose how we want to experience this world and who we want to interact with.” Transforming Minecraft, Halo, and Flight Sim into full 3D worlds can be a very ambitious project, especially if players can explore and experience these environments together playing side by side with VR or AR headsets. Microsoft Flight Simulator already gave us a feel of this, with players having the ability to pilot planes in a multiplayer environment that stimulated them to have a feel of the real-world weather and locations. Flight Sim and Minecraft also have VR support too.
Although Nadella didn’t mention a timeframe for when Microsoft’s push into a 3D metaverse for gaming would go live. But we are so sure something is in the works, Microsoft’s announcements at the Ignite conference today have proven that the company’s focus now is on 3D avatars and shared virtual spaces for immersive meeting experiences, and also 3D metaverse apps for Xbox. The very big question will have to be how Microsoft plans to adapt its AltspaceVR social network and first-party games into metaverse applications on the Xbox, and also if Microsoft will ever bring VR or AR headsets experience to Xbox consoles. The big guess is that we will find out with time.
Recently, Microsoft reported a growth of 16% in quarterly revenue as a result of its gaming business. Microsoft’s gaming business has been driven by ongoing demand for Xbox Series X/S consoles. During its earnings call, Nadella claimed the company’s gaming division “saw record first-quarter monetization and engagement” during the three months ended September 30, 2021. Also, Microsoft’s consistent growth in its cloud computing business has helped its profit spiral to about 24% for the July-September quarter over the same time last year. The company reportedly beat the Wall Street Journal expectation of $2.08 per share, the tech company announced a quarterly profit of $17.2 billion, $2.27 per share. Microsoft continues to be in fierce competition with Amazon, Google, and other cloud providers company, the most recent competition is Facebook now rebranded as Meta in the race to develop the next big thing which is the Metaverse.