Developer Mojang Publisher Microsoft Studios Format Xbox One Release 2017
Yep, it’s still a sensation. So much so that Mojang has announced the cross-platform Better Together update, which will let Minecrafters everywhere share the same game worlds regardless of the device they’re playing on. Unless you own a PS4 or PS Vita, that is. Sony has, once again, declined to join in on the fun, citing security concerns. For The Players indeed.
Making Minecraft a more unified community brings benefits, of course. The Minecraft Marketplace – selling custom content like skins, texture packs and staggeringly detailed pre-built maps from individual creators – will expand, while multiplayer servers from community partners Lifeboat, InPvP, Mineplex and CubeCraft are to be brought into the game on all platforms. Would-be owners of the Xbox One X, however, can expect some specific perks. Minecraft Realms, for instance, will offer subscription-based private servers for up to 10 simultaneous players.
Both X and Windows 10 users will also bag a 4K facelift for the game via the cloyingly named Super-Duper Graphics Pack this autumn. It’s easy to scoff at the merits of drawing the game’s blocky pixels at such a level of clarity, but the update will simply bring Minecraft in line with the array of community-created shaders that can run on powerful PCs, adding realistic lighting, shadows and water reflections to your worlds. Alright, an indulgently pretty version of a six-year-old game wouldn’t be our pick for showing off the clout of a brand-new Xbox, but this at least proves that Microsoft is serious about the future of Minecraft. Landing one in Sony’s eye is, of course, a welcome bonus.