Undeniably the biggest news coming out of Microsoft’s E3 presentation is the introduction of their new console, the Xbox One X. However, at the same time, the company confirmed one of the first games that will be playable on the new console in the form of an update to the widely popular Minecraft.
According to TechCrunch, during the company’s big show at E3 2017, Microsoft announced an upcoming update to Minecraft, which is set to be one of the game’s biggest yet. Minecraft: Better Together will unify the various versions of Minecraft across different platforms and crucially, allow players on those different platforms to play together.
Microsoft says that with the aforementioned Better Together update, it hopes to break down the barriers between each version of the game and make a version of Minecraft that’s consistent no matter what device you’re choosing to play on. With that in mind, going forward, the edition you’ll find on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile and VR will simply be known as Minecraft, instead of the platform specific name that each game has been given before now. This unification will allow players on those devices to play together for the first time ever.
Meanwhile, the original version of Minecraft on PC will become known as Minecraft: Java Edition. However, Microsoft insists that it plans to continue providing full support the original version of Minecraft, however, it will just become a separate entity to the newly unified Minecraft: Better Together version.
— Eurogamer.net (@eurogamer) June 12, 2017
According to the Verge, the Better Together update also brings some exciting news for players who play Minecraft across different devices. That’s because any DLC you purchase will be accessible amongst the various devices at no extra charge. For example, if you buy the Greek Mythology pack on Nintendo Switch, you’ll also own it on the mobile, Xbox One and Windows 10 Editions too.
Minecraft: Better Together will launch as a free update for mobile devices in August. Meanwhile, if you own Minecraft: Xbox One Edition or Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition, Microsoft will provide the brand new version of Minecraft for free, however, it promises that your existing worlds and DLC will be carried over.
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Cross-platform play wasn’t the only big Minecraft news to come out of Microsoft’s E3 presentation, however. The company also confirmed that it plans to introduce a server browser to Minecraft: Better Together, which will provide access to large-scale online servers like the PC version of the game. The company says it plans to launch with four servers right away, including Lifeboat, Mineplex, InPVP, and CubeCraft, with more expected to be added at a later date.
Finally, a further update planned for release later this year will introduce 4K HDR graphics to Minecraft for the first time. Available on the Xbox One, Windows 10, iOS, mobile, and VR versions of the game, the update will provide improved lighting, shadows, water effects, and generally a more visually impressive Minecraft experience.
— GameSpot (@gamespot) June 11, 2017
That update will be coupled with a new Super Duper Graphics Pack, which will introduce 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. However, this version will be limited to high-end Windows 10 and Xbox devices.
Minecraft: Better Together will be released for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices this August, with the 4K HDR graphics update expected to be released this fall.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]