Minecraft: Switch Edition

Key events

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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.