At Gamescom 2015, Mojang announced its first step toward delivering on its cross-platform promise with Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition. The most recent edition of the immensely popular sandbox game was released in beta last week, and it should soon be compatible with other versions of the game. According to CEO Jonas Martensson, the new code for Minecraft: Windows 10 edition will allow players to use an Xbox One controller, a touchscreen, or a keyboard and mouse to play the game. PC owners will also be able to play with users of Minecraft: Pocket Edition. Eventually, the company hopes, the Xbox version will join the party, although there was no mention about incorporating PlayStation.
Minecraft currenty has over 33 million users across PC, Xbox, and mobile platforms, and its multiplayer modes have brought people together to make some truly stunning creations. It’s quite a community, but, as it stands, these 33 million people are separated from each other by their hardware of choice.
By taking down the barrier between controllers, allowing PC owners to use the three types of controls that are specific to each system, Minecraft shows that the biggest difference between versions doesn’t mean that there can’t be a level playing field. It’s an important first step toward creating a cross-platform environment, an approach that has largely been ignored in the history of video games. It’s also an example that gamers hope other companies will follow.
Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition is currently available in beta. A release date for the final version has not been determined.