The E3 2017 rumors have begun to flow, and Minecraft for the Xbox One is interestingly one game up for discussion. Yes, the extremely popular open-world crafting game is already on the console. However, the Windows 10 Edition (aka Pocket Edition) is supposedly on the docket, and that means some substantial features currently not available to console players, like mods and Realms support.
Sources with MS Power User report Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition will be headed to the Xbox One via the Universal Windows Platform program. The site even got to go hands-on with the Windows 10 version of the game and shared some screenshots of it running on an Xbox One S as proof. Reportedly, the game will be released around the time of the Xbox Scorpio with support for 4K resolutions.
Somewhat confusingly, the Xbox One version of Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition is currently subtitled Xbox One Edition. It’s not clear if Mojang and Microsoft will work on a different naming scheme or not, but the screenshots make clear this is a different version from what is currently available on the console.
Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition on the Xbox One means cross-play support between console and PC, and several features will be coming to console players that are currently not available. This includes support for Realms, the subscription-based server hosting service that allows players to run their own Minecraft servers. This is intended for groups of friends or family to get together and play and currently supports cross-play between Windows 10, iOS, and Android devices via Pocket Edition.
The welcome screen image for Minecraft: Windows 10 shared by MS Power User mentions Realms, which presumably will make the Xbox One version cross-playable across the different devices within the same Pocket Edition family.
The other big news here is this should also bring the upcoming in-game marketplace to Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition on the Xbox One. Currently planned for the 1.1 Discovery Update, the in-game marketplace will give content creators a chance to sell adventure maps, skins, texture packs, mash-up packs, minigames, and other community-created mods.
Purchases in the Minecraft marketplace are made with Minecraft Coins, which are will be sold for real-world money. The Discovery Update is currently going through beta testing, and prices haven’t been set in stone yet. However, the screenshot shared by Mojang shows $2 for 320 coins, $5 for 840 coins, and $10 for 1,720 coins. Meanwhile, a mash-up pack with a new map, new textures, and new mobs is shown being sold for 960 coins.
It’s unclear what this portends for the future of the current version of Minecraft: Xbox One Edition. This version is supported across all console platforms and is coming to the Nintendo Switch as well. Developer 4J Studios, who is responsible for all console editions, has not released a major update for the game since December of last year. Recent updates have been to add new mini-games and fix bugs. It is entirely plausible work is being done to prevent the aforementioned confusion between the Minecraft: Xbox One Edition and Windows 10 Edition on the same platform.
Meanwhile, the original PC version remains far ahead of both Minecraft: Win 10/Pocket Edition and the console versions, plus has heavy modding and custom server support. Minecraft fans should not expect support for the Java developed platform to go away anytime soon. The amount of work required to merge the two code bases looks nothing short of monumental.
The Xbox E3 press briefing is scheduled for Sunday, June 11 at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, as previously covered. Those interested in watching the event live should mark their calendars to tune into one of the usual live-streaming outlets, such as YouTube, Twitch, the Xbox consoles themselves, and likely SpikeTV.
Xbox Scorpio details on an official name, release date, price, and design will be top on the agenda along with games that will support the new console hardware.
[Featured Image by Mojang]