Minecraft: Switch Edition

Key events

That's it for Minecraft updates on Xbox 360, PS3, Vita and Wii U

That's it for Minecraft updates on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Vita and Wii U. The final update - the Nightmare Before Christmas Mash-Up pack - has been released.

It's the end of an era, particularly for the Xbox 360 version, which was the first console version of Minecraft to appear, way back in May 2012 (PlayStation 3 got Minecraft in December 2013, PS Vita in October 2014, and Wii U in December 2015).

There have been more than 21 million Xbox 360 Minecraft players since then, developer 4J Studios said on Twitter, and 73 Title Updates. And now, of course, Xbox-maker Microsoft owns Minecraft, having splashed $2.5 billion on the deal in autumn 2014.

Read more

Minecraft launches Paws and Claws costume pack to raise money for World Wildlife Fund

Microsoft has announced a new initiative to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund through Minecraft, starting with the launch of the new Paws and Claws costume pack.

Paws and Claws' release follows the recent arrival Minecraft's latest update, which adds bamboo blocks, scaffolding, and, more importantly, pandas and redesigned cats. The costume pack (or "Cosplay Pack", as Microsoft would have it) features 17 cat and panda skin, and all net proceeds on every sale - that's 62.5% - will be donated to the WWF until December 11th, 2021.

Additionally, Microsoft has pledged to donate another $100,000 USD to the World Wildlife Fund once players have managed to place a total of 10 million bamboo blocks in Minecraft. This follows a similar event last year, in which a donation was made to The Nature Conservancy after Minecraft players laid down 10 million coral blocks.

Read more

Minecraft's second phase of the Update Aquatic is here

If you haven't played Minecraft for some time, you may soon fancy dipping a toe in again, as the latest phase of the Update Aquatic is bringing a raft of new features to the game.

Phase two is now available for players on Windows 10, VR, mobile devices, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. The new release expands on phase one of the update, which itself brought a bunch of new additions; including nine ocean biomes, coral reefs, shipwrecks and some (very enticing) treasure chests.

So, what's new in phase two?

Read more

Nintendo Switch and Xbox One Minecraft cross-platform trailer hammers home lack of PlayStation support

Minecraft's Better Together version finally launches today for Nintendo Switch, and a new trailer has dropped to play up its cross-platform capabilities.

Xbox One and Nintendo Switch owners can now play Minecraft as if they were on the same platform but notably - as the trailer hammers home - it is just Nintendo and Xbox on board. Not Sony.

Minecraft's Better Together Update (which is in fact an entirely new game, although free to existing owners) is also compatible with Minecraft on Windows 10, iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Read more

Minecraft's ocean-expanding Update Aquatic is out now on Xbox One and PC

Minecraft's ocean-expanding Update Aquatic is out now on Xbox One and PC

Switch, PS4, and older platforms coming later.

Minecraft's long-awaited Update Aquatic has finally surfaced, and is now available on Xbox One, Windows 10, Gear VR and Oculus, mixed reality devices, and mobile.

Update Aquatic, as its name suggests, is designed to add more life to Minecraft's oceans. It's a major update too - so big, in fact, that developer Mojang has elected to release it in two parts. The first is out now, while phase two is "coming soon".

Once the new patch is installed, Minecraft players on supported platforms will be able to enjoy a wide selection of new fish and other water-dwelling creatures, including salmon, cod, pufferfish, tropical fish, and dolphins - the latter of which will follow boats across the ocean.

Read more

Minecraft's cross-play Bedrock Update finally comes to Switch next month

Mojang has announced that Minecraft's cross-play-enabled Bedrock Update - also known as the Better Together Update - will finally be coming to Switch on June 21st.

Better Together launched on PC, Xbox One, iOS, and Android last year and is (as its alternate Bedrock moniker suggests) designed to be the unifying foundation for all versions of Minecraft in the future. Previously, each platform had its own specially tailored version, as created by developer 4J Studios.

Bedrock enables cross-play between all supported platforms (which doesn't include PS4), and will give Switch owners access to multiplayer servers and Realms. It also introduces the Minecraft Marketplace store, Achievements, and a wealth of performance enhancements.

Read more

Minecraft's next update is the last for Wii U, Vita, PS3, Xbox 360

Update Aquatic, the next big content drop for Minecraft, will be the last to arrive on older console platforms.

After this, Microsoft will no longer update the game's Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, or those on PlayStation Vita or Wii U.

The update will not arrive at all for those still playing the specific Xbox One and Nintendo Switch edition of the game - you'll have to switch over to the Bedrock version of Minecraft for these platforms instead. (The Switch version of the Bedrock edition still lacks a release date.)

Read more

Dolphins that find treasure! Minecraft's big ocean overhaul

But Switch multiplayer cross-play and Super Duper Graphics delayed.

The Minecon Earth show happened yesterday and a handful of Minecraft announcements were made. The biggest was the reveal of Update Aquatic, an entire overhaul to oceans coming spring 2018, and it has dolphins - dolphins that can lead you to treasure, which is Flippering marvellous.

Minecraft's Better Together Update is a mess on console

When Microsoft announced Minecraft's Better Together update, fans cheered. Minecraft feels built for cross-network play. It's the world's biggest family game, an experience designed with collaborative play in mind, and now truly open to everyone regardless of device (except PlayStation).

At least, that's how it seemed. Sadly, the edition which has arrived on console is not quite what fans had envisioned.

Microsoft never did a great job of communicating the fact its Better Together Update is not actually an update for console owners. It's a completely different game - one which is almost identical to Minecraft's previous Pocket Edition for mobiles.

Read more

Minecraft's new cross-platform edition launches today, but without Nintendo Switch

Minecraft's big new cross-platform version is available right now on Windows 10 PC, Xbox One, iPhone and iPad, Android, and for VR devices.

It is a huge moment in the history of the game - and of gaming in general - although the Nintendo Switch version is lagging behind.

"We're working really hard with our partners at Nintendo to accomplish cross-device connectivity that is yet unprecedented in the history of gaming. This is very exciting work, but introduces lots of complexities to the development process," Minecraft's big cross-platform Q&A now explains.

Read more

Minecraft's cross-network update now playable in beta

Minecraft's cross-network update now playable in beta

PC, Android and Xbox One players unite.

Minecraft's game-changing cross-network update is now available to beta test if you are on a Windows 10 PC or Android PC.

Xbox One beta access will follow "in the coming days", Microsoft stated in a blog update.

Each version will let you play with people on other platforms, such is the nature of Minecraft's Better Together Update, which will launch properly this autumn. (There's no beta for Nintendo Switch players, though Switch will also be getting cross-network play).

Read more

Switch Minecraft's 1080p patch improves more than just resolution

Minecraft on Switch is one of the best uses to date of Nintendo's hybrid design, delivering a complete rendition of the classic game with full four-player functionality - even when undocked and gaming on the go. But its launch was marred by two factors: a lacklustre 720p resolution even when docked with your HDTV, along with noticeably jarring performance drops in split-screen mode. Developer 4J Studios promised that it would look into a full 1080p upgrade and it has duly delivered - and not only that, despite the 2.25x boost to resolution, performance in some split-screen scenarios is improved too.

The 1080p Switch upgrade is understated in 4J Studios' patch notes, hidden in a line of bug fixes. It's the only visual upgrade listed too. According to an interview with the Time website, CTO Richard Reavy says that "everything else is unchanged at present. We really just wanted to make sure jumping up the resolution wouldn't cause any problems." Indeed, at launch, Microsoft confirmed that switching resolutions on the fly between Switch's docked and undocked modes caused issues with the HUD. But on patch 1.06, clearly 4J Studios has overcome the problem, and it all just clicks together.

As you can see in the video and the comparison zoomers on this page, Minecraft's stark visual style benefits enormously from the resolution upgrade, bringing it right up to our level of expectations for the launch code - and despite compromises in other areas, it even compares fairly well with PS4's 1080p image too. Native full HD resolution pays huge dividends for anyone using a 1080p TV: we're no longer at the mercy of Switch's scaler, and users get a true 1:1 pixel match from the console. And as you'd expect, even the menu overlays run at 1080p.

Read more

Minecraft on Nintendo Switch is getting an update to boost its resolution

Minecraft for Nintendo Switch is getting a new update which bumps its resolution when docked to your TV up to 1080p.

Previously the Switch game ran at 720p while on the go and while docked.

It sometimes struggled at 720p - so it's unclear how Minecraft's Switch edition code has been adjusted to get it running at a higher resolution. Digital Foundry's previous investigation went into detail on the choices made to limit the Switch version's world size and rendering distance.

Read more

Minecraft's console editions get one more big update before cross-network play

Minecraft's console editions get one more big update before cross-network play

PS4 will "continue getting updates" after other platforms combine.

Minecraft's various console versions just got a big new update, adding in new animals, structures, blocks, villagers, items and Achievements/Trophies.

Going by the latest post on Minecraft's official blog, it sounds like the game's last major update on consoles before the game-changing Better Together Update lands later this summer. That's the update which will unify Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile, VR and Windows 10 editions of the game into a single entity where everyone can play together. It's also the update which PlayStation has opted out of.

As expected, however, "platforms which won't support the Better Together Update will continue getting updates even after it lands," Minecraft's Marsh Davies reassured.

Read more

Minecraft is getting cross-platform play

UPDATE: For every platform but PlayStation.

UPDATE: Minecraft's "Better Together" update will launch for Windows 10, iOS, Android, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and VR devices - but not PlayStation.

Face-Off: Minecraft on Switch takes on PlayStation 4

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Minecraft on Switch takes on PlayStation 4

Resolution is locked to 720p, but the package still compares favourably overall.

As one of the best-selling games of all time, Minecraft is available on virtually every relevant platform - but Switch is the first to bring seamless support for gaming both at home and on the go. Nintendo's console hybrid is powerful enough to offer Minecraft's top-tier visual feature set but at the same time, it also offers up anything up to four-player split-screen action, even in portable mode - something completely unique to this version. In practice though, just how does the experience stack up to the other console editions? And to set the bar as high as we can, can it compare favourably with the PS4 release?

There are some limitations, but Switch users can rest easy - it's an impressive conversion overall. This latest Minecraft edition arrives comes via 4J Studios, and is based on the full-fat console experience, complete with most of the visual bells and whistles you'll find on PS4. That includes the same texture quality, features like ambient occlusion, the smooth lighting mode, and cloud rendering.

However, the one big drawback is resolution - as reported already, Minecraft on Switch does indeed operate at native 720p no matter how you play, and as usual with the series, there's no anti-aliasing whatsoever. Bearing in mind we're getting a true 1080p output from games like Mario Kart 8 while docked, it does come as a disappointment - at least at first. An update from Microsoft reveals that "[this] isn't a question of system power, but stems from issues currently experienced shifting from one resolution to another while docking and undocking."

Read more

Do you remember your first adventures in Minecraft? I do. I was mostly confused. For much of its history, Minecraft hasn't done much to help you understand how to play it, how to craft things, what these crafted things do, and why you'd want them. It doesn't tell you about the alternate dimensions that you can visit, or about how you get to them. It doesn't tell you why should should play or what you're aiming for.