Minecraft gets a 4K-inspired update, unifies features across platforms

By Marshall Lemon
11 June 2017 22:52 GMT

Microsoft will be connecting Minecraft’s Xbox Live social features across platforms, while bringing out 4K support to boot.

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Minecraft is getting yet another major overhaul – not only will players be able to craft on any system, they’ll be able to interact with players across all platforms. What’s more, Minecraft will obtain a 4K overhaul with the “Super Duper Graphics Pack”.

The Bring Together update will unify the console, mobile, Windows 10 and VR builds of Minecraft, so that all of these builds share exactly the same feature sets.

To make this more obvious, these versions of Minecraft will drop their “[X] Edition” monikers and be known simply as Minecraft. Don’t worry; you’ll get the new version for free and all your DLC and saves will carry over.

This update also delivers cross-play, so that everyone on these three platforms can play Minecraft together. DLC will go cross-buy, too, so you can use everything on all devices.

Unfortunately, the original mothership build of Minecraft for Mac and PC, which is called the Java Edition, will remain its own distinct thing – no cross play or feature unification. This probably means new features will continue to roll out there before coming across to other builds of Minecraft.

There’s another major caveat here: when Mojang says “console” in this instance, it means Xbox One and Switch. No word on older consoles – or the PS4. Wow. Guess that Microsoft takeover is finally having an effect.

The update will also add an in-game server browser, making it much easier to find and connect to free in-game servers (as opposed to paid Realms). There will be parental controls, too.

Looking to the future, Mojang plans to release a free update in northern autumn. This patch adds “4K HDR graphics which include improved lighting, shadows, water effects” and more. It’ll be available for Xbox One, Windows 10, iOS, mobile, and VR, which Mojang described as “essentially every platform that gets our Better Together update”, which is a bit of a snob to the Switch.

On top of the free update, a paid DLC called Super Duper Graphics Pack will include “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”. It will only be available on Xbox One and Windows 10, “performing best on high-end PCs and the Xbox One X”.

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