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Microsoft will Unite the Majority of 'Minecraft' Platforms This Summer

Minecraft is about to be released in its final form. In August the Better Together update will be released and bring the game to almost every platform that is available, from iOS and Android to Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. This unification is made possible by the Bedrock Engine, which currently powers all mobile, Windows 10, Amazon Fire and VR versions of the game. It doesn't matter on which platform your friends are using to play Minecraft. i do what the voices in my head tell me All versions will be the same, they will share DLC and updates and allow all players to create new worlds.

Well, almost all. The first "Better Together" update did not include Minecraft versions for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4.

Marketing lead Emily Orrson states, "Beginning with Xbox One or Nintendo Switch, we'll expand the code base so that everyone -- the vast majority -- of our community are connected."

The Better Together update The Better Together update brings Bedrock to the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch versions of Minecraft which allows them to play with almost every other version of the game. Consoles that are currently playing will be allowed to download Realms (the multiplayer mode in the game) as well as the brand new Community Marketplace. Any existing worlds will transfer directly to Bedrock and will be able to play with all DLC players have purchased. The update also brings unlimited worlds to Xbox One and Switch, up from the current, limited grid of about 3 miles by 3 miles.

"They've been seeking relief there for a long time, and now they'll have the ability to step right into those worlds and continue generating them indefinitely," says executive producer Jesse Merriam.

However, players on PS4, the most adored console of the moment will not be able change to Bedrock immediately.

Merriam said that "our goal is to unite all Minecraft players." "Today we are able to confirm Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. However we can confirm that all of our current-gen partners are available and we're interested in connecting all Minecraft players. This is all we can confirm today."

The Xbox 360 and PS4 versions of Minecraft will keep their platform-specific names. However the Java version will officially be called Minecraft: Java Edition. This is what most players call it anyway. There's the main Minecraft game and three fragmented versions (PS4, Xbox 360 and Java) that aren't sure to receive the same updates or cross-platform capabilities as the main version. It's a welcome step towards unity, but it's not yet an entire leap.

"We're extremely close with Apple, Google, PlayStation, Nintendo, Amazon, our VR partners -- a lot of it is a lot of work to make sure we're always working in everyone's store and other areas," Orrson says. "Right moment, we're trying to get everyone connected, but it is hard to navigate through every scenario we come across.

Microsoft bought Minecraft in 2014 for $2.5 billion It makes sense that the Xbox One version is getting some appreciation in the Better Together update. Of course, Sony builds the PS4.

"It's not for lack of wanting to or effort on our part," said senior global communications manager Aubrey Norris. "We are in talks with our partners at the moment. We are interested in PlayStation and we are inviting Sony to bring PlayStation players to Bedrock. However these are private discussions.

Microsoft and developer Mojang are far from done with Minecraft. Better Together is part a larger push for Minecraft to become an "creative platform." Developers want it to be more than just a game. It should be the base of community-driven innovation, connection and creativity.

The Community Marketplace, which launched in Pocket and Windows 10 editions in June was a key element of this transition. It lets players look for, purchase, and sell their in-game creations.

Better Together is also paying attention to servers. These servers allow players to experience unique worlds created by dedicated players. Now, there'll be Servers tab in addition to the "Worlds" and "Friends" tabs at start-up, introducing a whole new group of players to fan-favorite universes such as Lifeboat which was developed by a teenager and his father that boasts 6 million players per month. InPvP, CubeCraft and Mineplex are the first servers to be launched on Bedrock.

Minecraft is now even more independent with its own crafting book.

"We want to bring the strengths of all the existing crafting systems together," Merriam says. "Today the Java edition is really known for its experimentation and discovery, as you browse the crafting grid and try things out and see what actually will be an actual recipe."

The recipe book allows players to switch recipes on the crafting grid. This will eliminate the requirement to begin the game and locate the Wiki page that is relevant. Anyone who is interested in exploring new recipes can skip the book.

"Anyone who has had the pleasure of interacting with a hardcore Minecraft fan will know there's an immense amount of pride that the kid will feel when they have the recipe for building a boat," Merriam says.

Keep up-to-date with the latest news from E3 2017 here!

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