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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).

The update adds features yet to appear on console - stained glass, parrots, coarse dirt and perhaps most importantly, world conversion.

There's a handy FAQ on how the update will work for each platform - which is just as well, as it is a little complicated.

PC folk can download the Minecraft Better Together Update beta now via the Xbox Insider App. On Android, it will be available to those who have already bought the game via the Google Play Store.

Worlds you have been building and playing on already will be present in the Better Together Update, and if you play with a world from Xbox One and Nintendo Switch then you'll get extra world generated for you when you reach the edge of your map.

Microsoft has also included several details on parental controls and child safety, after Sony's Jim Ryan told Eurogamer PlayStation players would not be part of the Better Together cross-platform update to keep them safe within the PlayStation Network.

"The Better Together Update will enable players to discover new content and creations across all devices, as well as the option to find new and like-minded players, as with any multiplayer game," Microsoft wrote. Helping keep kids safe online is a priority for Minecraft, and we provide parental controls across platforms via Xbox Live which help parents choose the content, communication and sharing settings that are right for their families.

"For many, the most important of these is making sure that your kids are using child accounts which you have control over. To do this on Xbox, you can find out more at http://aka.ms/xblsafety."

As for the likelihood of PlayStation people getting the update in the future? Microsoft continues to say it is open to the idea.

"We are still in discussions with Sony about PlayStation and have nothing to confirm. We would love to work with Sony to bring players on PlayStation 4 into this ecosystem as well."