Mojang has announced the release of some major expansions to its immensely popular Minecraft Realm. The Swedish developer will release upgraded versions of its games for PS4 and Xbox One in August. Treats for serious gamers are also now available, with a new Halo mash-up pack included in the mix.
The much anticipated wait for gamers is finally over. Mojang has now announced the release of Minecraft for the new generation of gaming consoles. The Xbox One will now support the game with some advantages, as the there will be a larger world for users to explore as well as a greater draw distance, enhancing the gaming experience. Users who have previously purchased Minecraft for Xbox 360 will be able to upgrade for their Xbox One and will be able to transfer worlds into the newer platform. However, transfers from the new system to the old 360 are not supported.
The same holds for those on PlayStation, as the new PS4 version of the game will also be larger with greater draw distance, and the one way transfer from the PS3 to PS4 will be supported as well. In addition, Minecraft will also be released for the PS Vita and the mobile account is transferable for those with PS3 purchases. So those who have already purchased the PS3 edition will automatically get a PS Vita account for that device. Likewise, if a PS Vita version is bought, an account will be available free should users then want to move over to the PS3. All downloadable content purchased for one will be good for the other as well.
PC and Mac users should not feel left out though. In addition to the Minecraft expansions for the PlayStation and Xbox, Mojang has announced good news for home computer users as well. Gamers using these platforms will be able to purchase open space on private servers from $13 per month, allowing up to 20 people into a world, with a limit of 10 players using the server at once. This service will allow users to easily install Realms servers using computers with LAN or IP addresses, and then host their own games with easier access to these worlds by other players. According to the company, they are working to bring this open Minecraft Realms access to other platforms, though there has been no word yet as to when that might be available.
Finally, a new mash-up pack has been released by 4J Studios which is based on the Halo series of games. This pack will allow for new looks for weapons, texture changes to the map, new menus and user interface designs, as well as pre-made maps of popular Halo locations such as Sandtrap and Valhalla. The Halo soundtrack will also be available to replace the native score, which will certainly be welcomed by some users.
Minecraft was originally released in 2009 and has since gone on to become the most popular indie game ever released, and the third best selling video game of all time, behind only Tetris and Wii Sports. It is an open-concept – or sandbox – game in which users can choose their own approach, and can explore a vast open world, build homes, weapons, armour, trade with villagers, and kill monsters. This allows for immense creativity in what users can create, and some have become famous for their work in the game. Battleships, roller-coasters and even a to-scale replica of the Enterprise, the star-ship of Star Trek fame, have been made. Recently, the Danish government announced that they had built a to-scale rendition of the entire country, buildings included, and were using it to teach geography and math to school children. With the recent Minecraft expansions announced for PlayStation and Xbox, this popular game will no doubt find an even larger audience than it currently enjoys, and perhaps one day, users will be able to explore the entire planet from the comforts of their own homes.
By Bryan A. Jones