Microsoft Just Made All Your Minecraft Dreams Come True

Posted on June 12, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Xbox One, Mobile, iOS, Android, Windows 10 with 25 Comments

Microsoft Just Made All Your Minecraft Dreams Come True

While the Xbox One X reveal understandably dominated the headlines from Microsoft’s E3 press conference, the software giant made another huge announcement: Minecraft is going cross-platform.

“Our Better Together Update introduces cross-platform play, breaking down the barriers and letting people play the same complete Minecraft with each other across devices!” Microsoft’s Tom Stone explains. “We’ve wanted to integrate cross-platform for ages, essentially making a version of Minecraft that’s consistent no matter what device you’re choosing to play on.”

Cross-platform compatibility is the holy grail for Minecraft fans. Today, there are multiple versions of the game across various platforms—PC, consoles, mobile, VR, and so on—and they are not compatible with each other. This means that you, as an individual, cannot create a world on the PC and then continue working on it from a mobile device, or vice versa. And that groups of people across different platforms cannot play together either.

“Going forward, the edition you’ll find on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile, and VR will simply be known as Minecraft, a separate entity from Minecraft: Java Edition, which is the original PC game (that we’ll continue to support, of course),” Smith continues. “This means when you buy Minecraft, you’re buying a game that can you can play with friends across devices.”

Furthermore, anyone playing Minecraft on Windows 10, iOS, Android, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and VR devices will be able to play together for the first time. The Better Together Update will be offered to gamers for free this summer, though the schedule varies by platform.

Additionally, Microsoft announced that a coming update for Xbox One and Windows 10 will bring 4K graphics and HDR capabilities to Minecraft on Xbox One X, Windows 10, iOS, mobile, and VR. And a separate DLC (downloadable content) package, the Super Duper Graphics Pack, will add (paid) features like “dynamic shadows, lighting that streams through fog, movement in leaves and grass, new textures for mobs and villagers, directional lighting, edge highlighting and more,” Microsoft says.


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Comments (25)

25 responses to “Microsoft Just Made All Your Minecraft Dreams Come True”

  1. BigM72

    So all platforms except Playstation, sounds good MS.

    • Patrick3D

      In reply to BigM72:

      Sony refused to allow cross-platform support in Minecraft, Microsoft would love for them to be included.

      • Nonmoi

        In reply to Patrick3D:

        And you know Sony with spine it, so it looks like Microsoft is the bad guy here, as always.

        The basic Sony electronic entertainment's strategy is saying one thing and do the other, and console gamers seems to eat it right up. This proves that if you have more (good) exclusives, you can do/say anything, and gamers will love you and be your unpaid shills while pay you hand over fists.

        Maybe Microsoft should learn from this and put more emphasis on true exclusives (only on Xbox and Windows Store, with no plan to be on PlayStation), especially first party titles that will be released in the same year as E3 announcement, now that we got mid-gen update hardware behind us.

        If when E3 2019 comes, and Microsoft can be like Bethesda of last night "everything we shown today will come in this year", then Microsoft and Xbox will truly have a chance to win the console war.

  2. Waethorn

    Adding dynamic lighting completely destroys the existing lighting behaviour, so expect your lighting setups to have to be redone after this update.

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  4. Tony Barrett

    I've just never, ever understood the appeal of Minecraft. I'm sure it floats a lot of peoples boats, but each to their own. Unsurprisingly, as MS own Minecraft, making it cross-platform will open up a much bigger revenue stream for them. I suspect it was always part of their 'big plan' though. Interesting that Sony have told them to shove it though!

  5. JacobTheDev

    I'm a bit concerned about what this means for the Java edition long term; I know they said they'd continue to support it, but it sounds like it's going to be put off as more of an "extra" thing, making the other version the "main" game.

    That wouldn't be too much of an issue if they had an official modding API that worked on the console/mobile versions of the game, but I don't see that happening.

  6. Narg

    I still enjoy tinkering with Minecraft too much. i.e. adding in packs and tweaks and such. So I'll miss out on these cross platform versions.

  7. sj3vans

    How does server hosting fit into this? A friend hosts a server where his family and ours have been building for a long time. Setting up a server was easy and wonderful! Will worlds be able to be imported into the new non-java framework?

    • CaedenV

      In reply to sj3vans:

      The old school PC version will stay the same. Get a server and client with compatible versions and it should work as normal.

      This affects the store version of Minecraft, which will now work with consoles and VR... though I somehow suspect that it is only for hosted worlds rather than lan hosted worlds... but I could be wrong on that bit.

      Like One Windows, there is now One Minecraft... which means there is still more than one version lol

      • sj3vans

        In reply to CaedenV:

        I might be OK with hosted worlds versus LAN hosted worlds so long as we can import the world we've been working on. But regardless of that, how will this work for PC and Xbox interoperability? In order to play together, I sign into my Xbox, they sign into a Windows 10 app version, and we both log into...what? A realm?

    • JacobTheDev

      In reply to sj3vans:

      It sounds like this doesn't affect the Java platform at all; that system is still entirely separate.

  8. vernonlvincent

    Did Microsoft say when they expect to have this cross-platform functionality rolled out?

  9. Daekar

    Hmmm... you know, I've sat out on this game, but I really love my Switch and I'm almost done with Breath of the Wild. This might be what I play with until Skyrim comes out this fall. Glad to see them collaborating and spreading across so many platforms! This bodes well for the future.

  10. hometoy

    Unfortunately Microsoft likes leaving Linux out of their "cross-platform" and "across devices" statements. I hope they don't bungle this and do their same B$ crap.

    If it is cross-platform, than it includes Linux. If it does not then they should get fined for false advertising.

    Now, if they do include Linux and are really cross-platform (like it is now) then that would be fantastic! My Windows 10 laptop cannot play the desktop version of Minecraft (though when it was running Linux it had no problem, when it was running Windows 7 it had no problem too) so I have been using the Windows 10 version but that is only a PE version.

    Hopeful about this announcement, but still cautious.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to hometoy: Anybody that supports mobile and leaves out Windows Phone should be sued for false advertising as well. Right.

    • MikeGalos

      In reply to hometoy:

      Yes. Leaving out Linux means it isn't "cross-platform" in much the same way as saying it isn't "cross-platform" because CP/M-80 and BeOS aren't supported.

      In fact, how dare they even say it's cross platform‽ I see no mention of OS/2 Warp or support for the Apple/Bandai Pippin!

      • Locust Infested Orchard Inc.

        In reply to MikeGalos:

        Cross-platform ? My posterior is it. My Alienware 17 Gaming laptop is running OpenIndiana (OS forked from the discontinued OpenSolaris) and I'd want to play Minecraft on it.

        Also, I'm sure Microsoft could port Minecraft to MS-DOS, if simply to reminisce the nostalgia of DOS games of the 1980s.

      • Angusmatheson

        In reply to MikeGalos:

        Linux is a modern OS that is used today. It isn't fair to compare it to historical OSes. Linux' problem is 1) it has amazingly low market share overall and the subset that plays games on it is probably even smaller. And 2) it and its desktop user base have been historically anti-windows. Not a position that is likely to get any goodwill now that Microsoft owns Minecraft.

        • skane2600

          In reply to Angusmatheson:

          While what you say is true, I believe Mike's point is that a definition of "cross platform" that requires all platforms to be included isn't very useful because no application would qualify. On the other hand, the term "Write Once Run Anywhere" is different because it explicitly says "Anywhere".

    • Daekar

      In reply to hometoy:

      Linux just isn't on anyone's gaming radar. Yes, it's important for scientific and IT purposes, but the number of people that run Linux at home AND don't have a mainstream platform is miniscule.

  11. Jeroen Haegebaert

    So did I interpret correctly that the Java edition won't be part of the cross-platform goodness?

    • Angusmatheson

      In reply to Jeroen Haegebaert:

      So that leaves out non-windows 10 PCs, Mac, as well as Linux. I wonder if they are going to abandon development in these? The javs PC was the original and used to get the new feature first with the non-javs mobile trailing. Also sad for Java - this was suppose to be the universal language. I think Minecraft did a lot to increase its mindshare.

  12. ian008

    IS it going with JAVA update ?, Mircosoft have minecraft now what they get to make it crossplatform. Is it only for revenue SuperVPN for PC