During Microsoft’s conference over the weekend, they announced that the Xbox One version of Minecraft was getting a big update. 4K support, a community marketplace, increased server size, and more were on the way. The biggest surprise of the updates though was the fact that the Xbox One version was going to support cross-play for mobile device, tablets, PC… and the Nintendo Switch version!
Unifying the Minecraft universe was their goal here, and they almost reached it. Unfortunately, Sony has decided not to open their versions of Minecraft on the PS3, PS4, and Vita to cross-play probably because of the Xbox Live requirement. Mojang CEO Jonas Märtensson has confirmed in an interview with a Norwegian gaming and tech site that Switch players will have to log in with an Xbox Live account before enabling cross-play.
If you think about it, it makes sense. Minecraft is officially owned by Microsoft, so the servers are probably being hosted on through Xbox Live. What we’re curious about are the smaller details – am I going to need an active subscription for both the Switch and Xbox Live? Remember that the Switch’s online play will soon be a paid subscription, and Xbox Live has always required a subscription for online play. We’re not sure about how well needing two paid subscriptions will go over with the younger crowd that Minecraft targets, but we’ll see as we can confirm exactly how this will work.
Another tidbit is that the game will be compatible with the PC versions, but they didn’t specify which ones. We’re guessing that only the Windows 10 edition will have cross-play since that the original Java version of Minecraft is ahead of the Windows 10 edition in patches and updates. Unless they can bring the Windows 10 version up to speed, it will most likely be the only version on PC that has cross-play support.
Either way, we think this is a awesome step in the right direction. Enabling cross-play for more games to let friends play with more friends is always a great thing. We hope this is the start of a new trend!