Announced during this year's Xbox E3 Briefing, Minecraft will be bringing several new features to the game in two updates. The Better Together update, will come this Winter (US Summer) to anyone playing the game on Windows 10, iOS, Android, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and VR devices, with the Super Duper Graphics Pack coming this Spring (US Fall) to Xbox One and Windows 10, "performing best on high-end PCs and the Xbox One X."
According to the news post on the official Minecraft website, these packs include:
The Better Together Update (Coming this Winter in NZ)
- Introduces cross-platform play, breaking down the barriers and letting people play the same complete Minecraft with each other across devices! We've wanted to integrate cross-platform for ages, essentially making a version of Minecraft that's consistent no matter what device you're choosing to play on.
- Anyone playing the game on Windows 10, iOS, Android, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and VR devices will be able to play online together.
- Going forward, the edition you'll find on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile and VR will simply be known as 'Minecraft', a separate entity from 'Minecraft: Java Edition', which is the original PC game (that we'll continue to support, of course).
- A Community Marketplace
- Massive Servers
- All platforms receiving the Better Together Update will then have a server browser in the Minecraft start menu. This'll let you search a list of servers which you can join right away! We'll be launching with four servers – Lifeboat, Mineplex, InPVP, and CubeCraft - with more to follow. Plus we've made sure that parental controls and other safety features will be in place, so you decide what your child can access.
Super Duper Graphics Pack (Coming this Spring in NZ)
- Minecraft will get 4K HDR graphics which include improved lighting, shadows, water effects... basically, it'll be like giving your eyes a luxury massage. This’ll be available to folks playing on Xbox One, Windows 10, iOS, mobile, and VR - essentially every platform that gets our Better Together update.
- On top of the free 4K update, the Super Duper Graphics Pack introduces features like dynamic shadows, lighting that streams through fog, movement in leaves and grass, new textures for mobs and villagers, directional lighting, edge highlighting and more! This Pack will be available on Xbox One and Windows 10, performing best on high-end PCs and the Xbox One X.
Additionally, in an interview with Pressfire.no, Mojang CEO Jonas Martsensson has stated that in order to use Minecraft for cross-play, Xbox Live is required - this includes the Nintendo Switch. The statement reads:
"We're tying everything together with Xbox Live...". Mr Martsensson came back to the subject after asked if Xbox Live is required for the Nintendo Switch, he responded saying, "Yes. That's pretty unique as well! But everyone that's in on this, all the platform holders, have been pretty pragmatic and understanding of that what we're trying to do is create a good experience for the players. We needed a good system to connect everyone, and Xbox Live is a good system."
These Minecraft updates are coming in Winter (US Summer) and Spring (US Fall), 2017, to Windows 10, iOS, Android, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and VR devices.