Minecraft Just Got Easier to Play on Xbox, iPhones, and VR Headsets
Playing Minecraft with other people just got easier.
An update to the popular building and crafting game on Wednesday opens the door to more people playing against each other. The update allows for cross-platform play, or the ability to play the game simultaneously online with others regardless of whether those players are using different devices like an Xbox gaming console and a personal computer.
Minecraft, which Microsoft (MSFT) bought in 2014 along with the game’s parent company Mojang, first announced the update in June. The update affects various versions of Minecraft that were designed for Xbox One, the Windows 10 operating system, and Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS mobile operating systems.
The update also allows owners of virtual reality headsets like the Samsung Gear VR and Facebook’s (FB) Oculus Rift to join a Minecraft game. Eventually, Microsoft plans for Nintendo Switch to be added to cross-platform play, but the company did not say when that would happen.
Still, the update, called Better Together, doesn’t affect every version of Minecraft. Notably missing are versions of Minecraft developed for Sony’s PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro gaming consoles, Apple PCs, and the HTC Vive headset.
The update underscores Microsoft’s growing video game business and its elevation to comparable status as the company’s other units like Azure cloud computing and Office workplace. In a sign of its higher status, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella appointed Xbox chief Phil Spencer to the company’s executive leadership team earlier this week.
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In August, Microsoft said that the newest version of its Xbox console, the Xbox One X Project Scorpio edition, would be available for pre-orders and would ship in November. The new Xbox will cost $500.