Microsoft made a huge step towards the future of Minecraft at E3 this year, announcing the Better Together Update, bringing cross-platform play to the game. It seems, however, that it’s less of an update and more of a second release.
The ability to purchase digital copies Minecraft: Xbox One Edition has disappeared from the Microsoft Store, and new version has surfaced. Named simply ‘Minecraft’, it has all the features of the new update and is available for $19.99.
Thankfully, players who already own the digital Xbox One Edition will get a free upgrade. Disc users will get the same offer, albeit with some caveats. You must have played the game for at least five hours in the past year, or purchased DLC. The offer also runs out on January 30th, 2018, so you’ll have to act quickly.
Why Change Names?
Microsoft hasn’t been upfront about the reason behind the change, but it’s quite easy to discern. The software giant is moving to a multi-platform model and has built its new version in a different engine. That requires an entirely new download, and it would annoy users happy with the current edition.
Instead, they can download the new version if they wish, or stick with the same old. Naturally, players need to be able to differentiate between the two, so different versions have been formed.
To match that, the original PC version has been renamed to Java Edition, and the Windows 10 version is also just ‘Minecraft’. However, while Java-based Minecraft will continue to receive updates, the Xbox One Edition will not, which is likely why it’s unavailable.
If you’re confused, we don’t blame you. But the good news is that you probably won’t be for long. Due to the lack of updates, we expect the majority of console players to make the switch. The confusion of different versions will give way to a new, unified Minecraft, available across PC, Xbox, Switch, and more.