'Better Together' update will unify most Minecraft platforms this summer


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Minecraft is already available on countless platforms and, in August, the Better Together update will unify the game's code base across most of them. This means players will be able not only to create worlds with their friends — even if one has an Xbox One and the other has a Nintendo Switch — but also access saved data and purchased content across all devices at no extra charge.

This unification is made possible by the Bedrock Engine, which will now power the Windows 10, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Apple TV, Kindle Fire, Gear VR, and Oculus Rift versions. The Xbox 360 version is not included in the initial Better Together update — it’s unclear if Microsoft will be bringing last generation platforms into the fold or they’ll continue operating as a separate edition. As for the PlayStation 4, Microsoft says it would like to get them on board, so it seems it’s up to Sony to allow it.

As part of the update the console games are now getting the same infinite-sized worlds as has been available on PC, whereas they were previously limited to just three square miles. There’s also a new community marketplace, with 14 maps from 9 different creators available at launch.

“The benefit to our players with the community marketplace is that they suddenly have access to a ton of community-created content,” executive producer Jesse Merriam said in a statement. “Where you might’ve had to navigate the internet before to go to a creator’s website to download their pack, figure out how to get it imported — now, they’re available right in the market.”

Finally, Microsoft is also introducing support for third-party servers that exist outside of its own Realms service for enabling a multiplayer persistent world. New servers will go online from partners Lifeboat, InPvP, Mineplex and CubeCraft. These will be accessible via in-game menus, rather than complicated setups, and will be able to support hundreds of users simultaneously.

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