Microsoft Talks Up the Future of Minecraft: Pocket Edition

Posted on December 1, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Windows 10, Windows Phones, Xbox with 10 Comments

Today, Microsoft is celebrating the huge success of its Minecraft: Pocket Edition mobile offering and talking up its plans for the future.

“The team first began rolling out Pocket Edition on Android and iOS five years ago, beginning with Xperia Play,” Microsoft’s Emily Orrson explains. “Since then, Pocket Edition has expanded to run on Kindle devices, Fire TV, GearVR and Windows Phone. [And] it’s grown to over 40 million players that can connect to each other and players on Oculus Rift and Windows 10 via online multiplayer and Realms.”

As you may know, Microsoft makes three major versions of Minecraft. These are Minecraft: Computer Edition for PC, Mac, and Linux; Minecraft: Console Edition for Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3 and 4, PlayStation Vita, and Wii U; and Minecraft: Pocket Edition for the mobile platforms cited above. What’s missing, of course, is cross-edition interoperability. That is, gamers can play Minecraft with each other within any edition of the game—Xbox and PlayStation, for example, or Android and iOS—but they can’t play with others using other editions.

I had hoped that a discussion about the future of Minecraft: Pocket Edition would include at least a vague promise to make all of these editions interoperable over time. But that is not the case. Instead, Microsoft is talking up some updates that are coming in the near future.

“In just the past six months, we’ve ushered in redstone, witches, the Wither, Elder Guardians and pig riding,” Orrson writes. “And Pocket Edition and the Windows 10 Edition are about to get the complete game loop with the upcoming 1.0 Ender Update.”

Some other features coming in the 1.0 Ender Update include:

World Seed Library. This special feature will help gamers more easily find worlds with the features they’ve been looking for. “We’ll be populating the library and refreshing it periodically with a collection of dozens of amazing seeds for you to try,” Microsoft says.

Polar bears and igloos. Colder worlds will be populated by with polar bears, and you will find igloos while exploring.

Music. Minecraft: Pocket Edition gamers will finally pick up a fan-favorite feature from the Windows 10 Edition and will be able to enjoy playing the game with the original soundtrack. “This is set as a separate, optional download rather than directly part of the main game download, so that we can be kind to your bandwidth,” Orrson says.

Oculus Touch support. Oculus gamers playing the Windows 10 Edition in VR will get support for Oculus Touch input.

 

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6 Comments
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  1. 1 | Reply
    Chris_Kez Alpha Member #320 - 3 days ago

    Wake me when they announce cross-edition interoperability.

  2. 0 | Reply
    vernonlvincent Alpha Member #200 - 3 days ago

    Just to make sure - Minecraft for Pocket Edition is the same thing as Minecraft for Windows 10, correct?

    1. 1 | Reply
      rth314 Alpha Member #330 - 3 days ago
      In reply to vernonlvincent:

      Yes, Pocket Edition and Windows 10 Edition are the same game, just for different platforms.  They contain the same game features, and are written with the same C++ source code.  These are compatible versions.  My kids play the Windows 10 Edition on their laptops, and join game worlds with friends playing the Pocket Edition on Androids and iPads.  Updates for the Windows 10 Edition come out on the same day as Pocket Edition updates, and contain the same new features.

      They also play the "Computer Edition" (written in Java), connecting to my Minecraft Server.  Their friends with laptops can play with them on my Minecraft Server by using the Computer Edition, but their Android and iOS friends cannot.

      So, for a Windows 10 user, there are two versions to choose from:  The Computer Edition (Java version), which you download and install, and the Windows 10 Edition which is a Store App that is compatible with the Pocket Edition.

    2. 0 | Reply
      ommoran Alpha Member #208 - 3 days ago
      In reply to vernonlvincent:

      I don't believe so.  I don't believe it's a true UWP app, so the Minecraft on Windows 10 is the Mincraft Computer Edition.

       

      As I understand it.  From my kids.  :)  And of course from Paul's point - you have three silos, so three separate minecraft worlds.

    3. 0 | Reply
      Sprtfan Alpha Member #153 - 3 days ago
      In reply to ommoran:

      I'm not sure if Minecraft Windows 10 edition is exactly the same as pocket edition, but it is pretty close and not the same as the PC version for sure.  The only downloadable maps that will work for the Windows 10 Edition are PE maps.  

    4. 0 | Reply
      FreeJAC Alpha Member #1723 - 2 days ago
      In reply to Sprtfan:

      I don't think there are XBL achievements on the other pocket editions. The music soundtrack that is coming to the phones that is already on W10 as well.