Minecraft, meet bombshell: The promise of a master version of studio Mojang’s sandbox builder, identical across all platforms, not just functionally but at the codebase level, is finally happening. Pop some minecraft port forward and fill those glasses.
But when this new version arrives, it also stands to usher in something much grander and subversive. It will shatter technical but also political cross-play barriers as adamantine as the nebulous bedrock layer at the bottom of every cube-riddled Minecraft world. Nintendo Switch and Xbox One versions of Minecraft will converge with the Windows 10, Virtual Reality and mobile versions. This is a move without precedent. It is the first instance of unadulterated cross-platform, cross-console multiplayer that anyone’s yet seen. What about your saved data and purchases and world progression if you’re rocking those things on a Nintendo Switch or Xbox One? They’ll be grandfathered in, says Microsoft, transmogrified, somehow, from the old version to the new one when you update.
The idea is to make the move as seamless as possible. Emily Orrson, during a Skype presentation. Minecraft Java Edition’ so that it’s distinguished as running on the Java codebase. Another literally earth-shattering change: the console editions will now have unlimited worlds.
As the console editions join bedrock, there are just a number of things they naturally inherit. Console worlds today have a maximum size of 5,120 by 5,120 blocks, or about 3 miles by 3 miles. The list of impactful changes goes on. By expanding the bedrock edition to consoles, Microsoft can carry across the new Marketplace feature it just launched, wherein creators can hawk wares like skin packs, retextured overlays and custom-built worlds. And the bedrock edition itself benefits from a console perk: Instead of up to 5 players being able to adventure together, you’ll now enjoy 8-player simultaneous. What about JSON editing, the text file feature Microsoft introduced last year that lets PC players tweak the game through simple plain language commands? Is that coming to consoles, too?