Virtuix Omni sprints into Minecraft for GearVR, gives you room to roam

As soon as we picked it up, it became clear that Minecraft on the GearVR is a winning combination. The immersive world and lively aesthetic are only more appealing when your field of view expands, but the one thing missing was the movement. Now, it looks like the Virtuix Omni is solving that with support for Minecraft for Gear VR. The omnidirectional treadmill lets you walk and run around your virtual block-based worlds with your own feet, and it couldn’t be easier.

While there are ways to play Minecraft on the Vive with a bit of hacking, the GearVR version is fully supported, with handheld Bluetooth controller support for actions and movement. There’s barely any setup to include the Omni, either. The game runs right out of the box with no tweaking, according to Virtuix. That’s thanks to the Omni’s Bluetooth controller emulation, which provides a natural sense of walking or running without motion sickness.

Which is a blessing, because that’s one of the main complaints with games like Minecraft on any VR headset. As the world around you spins and moves past you, but you stay still, it causes a sense of disassociation. This in turn leads to dizziness and even nausea. It’s not as prevalent in room-scale VR, so being able to physically run and move in-game at the same pace should alleviate some of the effects of that disassociation.

Virtuix started shipping finished Omni setups to its Kickstarter backers in December 2015, so if you planned far enough ahead, you should be able to boot this up right now. If not, you can always pre-order an Omni from the Virtuix site for $700, but keep in mind it also works with headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, depending on the game.


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