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‘Minecraft’ builds on new Bedrock Engine for stunning 4K graphics, cross-platform play

Minecraft - Fallout Mash-Up
Mojang and Microsoft remain committed to supporting all versions of Minecraft with new content updates and fixes, and the development team has taken the next step to unifying its player-based. The “Bedrock Engine” is a new unified platform that will allow players on nearly every device to explore and create with their friends — even if one has an Xbox One and the other has a Nintendo Switch.

The Bedrock Engine will be used in most C++ versions of Minecraft, while the Java versions will still remain separate. Bedrock-supported platforms include Windows 10, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Apple TV, Kindle Fire, Gear VR, and Oculus Rift. OSX isn’t currently supported, nor is PlayStation 4, and the Xbox 360 and Wii U versions will continue operating as separate editions.

It isn’t clear yet if the Switch version will require a subscription to Nintendo’s upcoming paid online service — the service will be required for online multiplayer for other games when it launches this autumn.

Because of the unified engine, the Minecraft team was also able to introduce “infinite worlds” to platforms that previously were limited to just three square miles. The feature had been available on PC for years and was a major draw for that version of the game.

A new “community marketplace” will also make it easier than ever for players to find new user-created content for their games. At the launch of the Bedrock Engine, 14 maps will be available from 9 different creators, and all content will be searchable in-game. This also goes for “massive servers,” which are designed by community members for huge multiplayer experiences. Instead of having type in an IP address or port number, all of these will be available through an in-game browser.

Finally, Mojang is rolling out a new Super-Duper Graphics Pack for the Xbox One X that adds extra detailed textures to take full advantage of the Xbox One X. It will roll out this fall. And, on platforms that are capable of it, the game will fully support 4K. That means Xbox One X at least, and presumably, PlayStation 4 Pro as well.

Though older mods will not necessarily be supported by the new engine out of the gate, any worlds or add-on content purchased before the introduction of the Bedrock Engine will still be supported, even if players choose to migrate to a new platform. New content coming out this summer includes wild parrots, fireworks, and fossils to excavate on console. A recipe book that allows for easier crafting and experimentation is also on the way.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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