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(Pocket-lint) - Facebook recently announced it's going all-in on the metaverse concept, and even went as far as to change its company name to Meta. Now, Microsoft has announced it is building its version of a metaverse for Teams, and it sounds like it has also started thinking about gaming and entertainment.

During an interview with Bloomberg TV, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella basically said his company is considering a gaming metaverse for Xbox. "You can absolutely expect us to do things in gaming", said Nadella. "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 full 3D world, and we absolutely plan to do so."

Imagine Microsoft, Halo, and Flight Sim as full 3D worlds where players can virtually explore using VR or AR headsets. Sure, Microsoft Flight Simulator already tries to do that a bit - and it even supports VR (as does Minecraft) - but Nadella seems to be promising something much more here.

A metaverse is essentially a digital world filled with digital twins of people, places, and things - where avatars of people can virtually gather to communicate, play, and share across any device. Nadella hasn’t said when Microsoft will enter the metaverse race for gaming, but it sounds like something is underway.

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At the moment, though, the company also seems primarily focused on enterprise uses of the metaverse, with avatars and virtual spaces for Teams meetings.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 3 November 2021.