Minecraft
Minecraft

As the world’s most popular game, Minecraft has a few stats that stand out from other competitors. The Insanely popular game has grossed more than 24 million sales worldwide. While initially a computer (PC) based game, the sandbox platform has grown to be offered on nearly every single device.

Minecraft Windows 10 Edition

Minecraft 1

Never before has a single game been playable on all of the major gaming system, mobile devices, and pc platforms. The same rough game can be played on ps4, Xbox 360, Xbox one, windows phones, android phones, apple phones, mac, pc, and Linux. This giant ecosystem though has always been modular and non-interoperable. That is to say that people on a PS4 cannot play with those on an Xbox. Similarly people on a PC are not able to play with people on a Gaming console like Xbox. Microsoft’s Windows 10 Minecraft beta however is changing all of that and it’s only just beginning.

The claim to fame for Windows 10 Minecraft is the ability to play with people on other devices. Users are able to log in on an Xbox, Mobile phone, or a Windows 10 PC and play together on the same maps at the same time. You can literally pause a game on your Xbox, restart it on your phone in the car, and then keep playing on your Windows 10 PC when you arrive where you’re going. All the time never losing a block or connectivity with your friends. This is the greatest strength of the new system. Unfortunately though it has its downsides.

They say you are only as fast as your slowest member and it seems video games are the same way. In this analogy the slowest member of the team is Minecraft Pocket Edition (PE) used on mobile devices. As a result of the limited processing power and bandwidth, the game has taken a very limited stripped down version of the robust online experience that has made Minecraft so popular.

The user interface has been modified for touch controls which means larger, simpler menus and game tasks. Advanced functionality like the End is not yet playable on these devices. And this is the great Achilles heel of the entire Windows 10 Minecraft ecosystem – It’s not really the full game.

Sure you can play anywhere but what you are playing is the pre-schoolers version of a more grown up game. Sure the technical basis is the same and you can add custom worlds. However, the modding ability and more advanced processing power required for it means that the PE edition will just never be able to catch up to the largest most hyped modpacks like Technics new Blightfall or FTB Unleashed. These packs require intense system to run online multiplayer servers. Part of which is done on the client side device itself.

Mobile phones are about 3-5 years away from matching current desktop high end performance. Even then this game is organic. It lurches forward at the first sign of opportunity and the race to make bigger, badder worlds demands larger and stronger GPU’s and RAM. This core principle of the Minecraft modding community makes Windows 10 Minecraft an introduction to the game and a great sales tool.

Ultimately though most users will grow out of the basic gameplay and want more of the abilities and upgrades they have come to enjoy with the current Java Minecraft. Even so as the new game runs on C, the modding communities’ huge investment into Java makes the adoption rate seem even less hopeful for Windows 10 Minecraft beta.

The game has a great idea with the multi-system play, but unfortunately this current iteration of Minecraft risks losing a lot of what makes the game so popular with fans. Overall it’s a good introduction to the game, but more serious players are likely to stick with existing versions and the huge flexibility they provide.

Stuart works with Apex Minecraft Hosting, one of the leading providers of Minecraft server hosting.

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