One of the biggest surprises of Microsoft's E3 was its announcement of cross-platform Minecraft. Players on Xbox, PC, Nintendo Switch and mobile will be able to play with each other online, despite the difference in device.
It's a powerful feature, but gamers have been waiting for more detail before they jump on the hype train. Thanks to Norwegian publication Pressfire we now know some specifics. Mojang CEO Jonas Märtensson revealed on Wednesday some technical details behind its development.
Firstly, cross-platform Minecraft will run via Xbox Live, and that includes Nintendo's Switch. Though Microsoft is pushing its platform beyond the bounds of its console, this could be a very positive thing for gamers.
“All those involved in this, all platform owners have been very pragmatic and understand that what we want to do is create a good experience for the players,” reads a translation of Märtensson's explanation. “So we needed a good system to collect everyone – and Xbox Live is a good system.”
Other than stability, the Xbox Live system will mean DLC syncing across devices. If you buy a piece of content on Xbox, you will automatically get in on the Switch, and vice versa. The only requirement is for owners to make an account if they don't have one already.
According to Phil Spencer, the functionality will also include realms, so you can create a world on the PC and play it instantly on the Switch. It's unlikely, however, that players will be able to earn achievements.
Within all this noise is a more sensical explanation for Sony's refusal to particpate. The company is big on PSN, and running a game on a competing platform may feel like the wrong business strategy. It's worth noting, however, that the company has previously been quiet on cross-platform for Rocket League, which wouldn't have utilized Microsoft's technology.
Whatever the case, it's clear the Minecraft team has put a lot of thought into the implementation. Arguably, it's scope wouldn't have been possible without Microsoft's acquisition, which was met with a varied response.