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Microsoft's Pokémon Go take on Minecraft will allow collaborative building and adventures anywhere

Around your block.

Microsoft has revealed its Pokémon Go-esque take on Minecraft. It's named Minecraft Earth and will launch in beta sometimes this summer for iPhone and Android.

The AR-based smartphone game will allow multiple people to build structures using Minecraft blocks and place them permanently in the world.

You can also venture out and track down adventures: quick scenarios where you interact with Minecraft creatures or enemies, solo or with friends.

And to do any of that, just as in Minecraft's survival mode, you'll first need to find resources. In Minecraft Earth, these are acquired by clicking on "Tappables" from the map around you. (Like Pokémon Go, Minecraft Earth uses data from OpenStreetMap to lay out the world around you.)

Building works by placing blocks on a base "plate" on any flat surface - similar to that Minecraft HoloLens tech demo from 2015. These can then be dropped into the real world and is then viewable by everyone. It'll be interesting to see how Microsoft polices this one.

There's no in-game video of all this working just yet - and from playing Pokémon Go I can understand why: location-based AR can be very glitchy. Microsoft's press release lists fancy tech like Azure Spatial Anchors AR tracking and PlayFab integration as ways it will solve this.

For now, here's a fancy-pants CGI trailer:

Watch on YouTube

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