Minecrafters of the world can soon play together on multiple platforms, including Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch and Android devices…. but not Playstation.
The beta for the new update goes live on 1st August, as detailed on the Minecraft blog, meaning you can help test out the new experience before it launches officially later this year.
This is exciting news for the Better Together update – announced at E3 this year – which unifies the game engine for players on the following versions:
- PC (Windows 10 edition)
- Android (Pocket edition)
- XBox One (XBox One edition)
- Nintendo Switch (Nintendo Switch edition)
The above versions will now be referred to as “Minecraft” for simplicity, while the older and other versions of Minecraft will keep those awkward suffixes, namely:
- The original Java-based versions (Java edition)
- Wii-U (Wii-U edition)
- Playstation 3/4 (Playstation edition)
Good news, everyone!
There are a number of reasons why this is actually very good news. First and foremost, being able to play with friends who own a version of Minecraft on a different platform is really appealing.
The worlds you create and save will be available to play across formats, including those worlds already created in existing versions of Minecraft, rather than losing your beautiful creations when making this jump.
Another massive benefit is cross-platform DLC, meaning that Mash–up Packs purchased on one edition of Minecraft can be played on other versions without extra cost (except for any version-exclusive DLC).
Infinite worlds are available in the new version, and older worlds can even be expanded infinitely when played in the new version.
Finally servers are becoming available for console players as well, meaning that custom online communities can be accessed, and add-ons can be used with the new version meaning that custom content can be added via USB on consoles “if the platform allows it”.
Here comes the flip side
Now for the downsides: still no word from Sony about bringing the Playstation editions into the new version. Presumably this relates to how online play interacts with other consoles, and Sony’s licensing doesn’t permit this at present. This is the same issue as Rocket League faces, where technically everything should be fine but someone at Sony is blocking cross-platform play on Playstation devices.
While Mojang state that their aim is to bring all DLC content onto the new version, there is currently a “select list of content … only available on the platform it was purchased and not available in multiplayer”. It remains to be seen whether any content gets missed off, or remains unavailable on cross-platform.
Finally, Herobrine has been removed from the new version, meaning that any blocks moving themselves or mysterious activity in the game must be your own personal, psychological issues.
Moral of the Story
As with the PS Plus price hike announced this week, my only conclusion is that Sony hates you.
Yep, no other explanation for this other than a pure determination on Sony’s part to annoy and alienate their customer base.
Whatever reasons are behind this resistance to cross-platform play, I really hope these get ironed out soon. We don’t want to end up as the kid who bought a Sega Saturn when all their friends are having a blast on Nintendo 64 together…
Keen ‘Crafters – If you want to beta test the new version, you can read the Minecraft article on how to get access to the new version.