Amid Microsoft finally unveiling the Xbox One X, more commonly tagged pre-E3 as Project Scorpio, Minecraft fans also got their share of news, with the game now available for cross-play across any device.
The company talked about the latest Minecraft update during its E3 keynote address.
A Grand, Unified 'Minecraft' Thanks To The Better Together Update
The changes, bundled in the so-called Better Together Update, will unify console, mobile, and Windows 10 versions of Minecraft, a surely massive change-up for fans of the popular sandbox title. For years, there have been efforts to bring different Minecraft versions parallel with each other at both the functional and codebase level, but none have flourished.
Minecraft has distributed different iterations of itself across many players, including a Java-based version, a computers-only club version, the more versatile C++ version which works across different platforms, and all the console versions of the game. Needless to say, all these versions can't interact with one another through a proper and unified system, enabling some players to be isolated from other players depending on what version they use.
Well, Microsoft has decided to bring its Minecraft audience together, regardless of what version of the game they play. The Nintendo Switch and Xbox One version of the game will cross with the Windows 10, virtual reality, and mobile versions.
In all, the unified "bedrock" Minecraft version will include the following platforms:
• Xbox One
• Nintendo Switch
• Windows 10
• Gear VR
• Oculus Rift
• Fire TV
• Kindle Fire
• Windows Phone
But what does a unified version of Minecraft mean? Essentially, players can now play Minecraft using one platform and continue the same experience using a different platform. Where the game's many versions offered separate experiences previously, it will now halt doing so. Take your world, your saves, and your data back and forth whenever you feel like it, supposing, of course, you own the game in different platforms.
Microsoft Changes 'Minecraft' Branding
To avoid confusion, Microsoft will call the game's Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and mobile versions simply as "Minecraft." That said, there'll still be a "Minecraft: Java Edition," which refers to the original PC version of the game.
Other 'Minecraft' Updates
Players will also receive the free "Super-Duper Graphics Pack," DLC heading this fall, which, judging by the trailer, appears to completely restructure elements of Minecraft's rendering system entirely.
What's more, Minecraft's visual pipeline has received a substantial upgrade, meaning the game might finally look impressive on anyone's 4K TV, thanks to better lighting, shadows, and water effects, the company said.
Additionally, Microsoft will also add a server browser to the latest update, which launches with four servers including Lifeboat, Mineplex, InPVP, and Cubecraft.
Microsoft said the Super-Duper Graphics Pack will hit Xbox One X and Windows 10 versions, although it didn't specify whether which other platforms will receive it. The company also confirmed that those who own the VR or mobile version will receive the Better Together update this summer.
Thoughts about the Better Together Update for Minecraft? What do you think of Microsoft's move to unify different versions of the game? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!